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California Wasn’t Forcing Churches to Pay for Abortions… Until Planned Parenthood Stepped In
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California Wasn’t Forcing Churches to Pay for Abortions… Until Planned Parenthood Stepped In

By Sarah Kramer posted on:
April 8, 2019

In 2014, the California Department of Managed Healthcare (DMHC) issued a mandate forcing churches and other religious organizations to pay for elective abortions in their healthcare plans. And if they were to sidestep the abortion mandate by not providing health insurance, they face crippling fines and penalties under Obamacare.

But it wasn’t always this way.

Previously, the DMHC had taken the constitutional route. It was allowing exemptions for Christian universities, churches, and other pro-life and religious organizations that morally object to paying for abortions – just as it (rightfully) allows for religious exemptions from the state’s contraceptive mandate.

Unfortunately, this was short lived. So what changed?

Planned Parenthood got involved. And when the abortion giant caught wind of these exemptions, it was not pleased.

That much is clear from the emails that Planned Parenthood sent to officials at the DMHC and the California Health and Human Services Agency. In those emails, Planned Parenthood asked agency officials to “fix” the “issue” of religious organizations receiving exemptions from the abortion mandate. Planned Parenthood also threatened to promote a legislative “solution” if the administrative agency didn’t act. The abortion giant demanded that the DMHC:

  • Refuse to approve any further exemptions.
  • Rescind the approval of healthcare plans that offer an exemption to the elective abortion mandate.
  • “Find a solution to fix the already approved plans” that offer exemptions for religious organizations.

It seems that allowing some religious employers to opt out of paying for elective abortions is too deep a cut to Planned Parenthood’s bottom line.

But forcing religious groups to act against their pro-life beliefs under the threat of government punishment violates federal law and is unconstitutional. That is why Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit to correct this on behalf of three churches in California.

As ADF Legal Counsel Jeremiah Galus put it: “California officials are required to follow the law and legal precedent, not the dictates of groups that have an axe to grind against religious organizations that don’t share their views on abortion.”

It’s about time California follow the Constitution, instead of an abortion business with a history of using false talking points.


Sarah Kramer

Sarah Kramer

Digital Content Specialist

Sarah worked as an investigative reporter before joining the Alliance Defending Freedom team.


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