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Can the Government Force Churches to Pay for Abortion? It’s a Reality in California.

By Sarah Kramer posted on:
February 26, 2018

California is hard at work pushing its pro-abortion agenda. But a handful of churches in California are pushing back.

Today, Alliance Defending Freedom will ask a federal court to stop the California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) from forcing churches to choose between paying for elective abortions or cancelling health care coverage for their employees.

In 2014, the California DMHC mandated that all employers must pay for elective abortions in their health insurance plans or face crippling fines, making the absurd claim that abortions are “basic health care services” and “medically necessary.”

But this mandate violates federal law. Federal conscience protections make it illegal to discriminate against a health insurance plan because it does not "provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions." In addition to that, the U.S. Constitution as well as California’s state constitution protect the free exercise of religion.

Thankfully, Skyline Wesleyan Church in California is standing up to this mandate, and ADF will be presenting arguments before federal court on this church’s behalf on Monday. ADF is also defending three other California churches in a separate lawsuit against this mandate: Foothill Church in Glendora, Calvary Chapel Chino Hills in Chino, and Shepherd of the Hills Church in Porter Ranch.

It should come as no surprise who is behind this mandate. Pro-abortion groups have been hard at work lobbying for laws and policies that undermine the religious freedom of pro-life citizens.

In fact, Planned Parenthood had closed-door meetings and off-the-record conversations with the California DMHC to make sure abortions keep rolling in – at the expense of those who are dedicated to upholding and protecting life.

And California’s pro-abortion bias keeps showing itself.

In 2015, California passed a law that forces pro-life pregnancy centers to advertise for the abortion industry in violation of their beliefs and mission. In March, ADF President, CEO & General Counsel Michael Farris will argue before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of these pregnancy centers.

California’s message is loud and clear: Pro-life viewpoints are not welcome.

ADF is working to ensure that California is not permitted to continue silencing pro-life viewpoints and forcing those who oppose abortion to promote it instead. If California is permitted to do so, that threatens freedom for everyone. It may be pro-life organizations that California is determined to target now, but who will it be next?

ADF has created a new program specifically to protect churches from threats like these. The ADF Church Alliance is a membership program that provides legal help to churches so they can freely live and preach the Gospel in their communities. Churches should be free to serve their communities according to their religious beliefs without unjust government mandates that force them to violate those beliefs.


Learn more about the Church Alliance at the link below and find out how your church can sign up.

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Sarah Kramer

Sarah Kramer

Digital Content Specialist

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

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