Two federal courts have awarded four churches $1.4 million after they filed a lawsuit against the state of California over its regulation mandating the churches provide coverage for abortion in their healthcare plans.
According to Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the nonprofit legal organization which filed the lawsuit on behalf of the churches, the courts ruled that the First Amendment “protects the churches’ right to decline elective abortion coverage in their health insurance plans.”
The first lawsuit was filed on behalf of Skyline Wesleyan Church, located in the San Diego area. The second lawsuit involved Foothill Church in Glendora, Calvary Chapel Chino Hills in Chino, and The Shepherd of the Hills Church in Porter Ranch.
“In both cases, the courts ruled that the U.S. Constitution protects the churches’ freedom to operate according to their religious beliefs, which include their belief in the sanctity of unborn lives,” ADF notes.
The regulation was imposed by the California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC), which according to emails discovered during legal proceedings, issued its “abortion coverage” mandate “in response to specific demands from Planned Parenthood.”
DMHC issued the mandate in 2014.
“The government can’t force a church or any other religious employer to violate their faith and conscience by participating in funding abortion,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jeremiah Galus after the ruling.
For years, California officials, in collaboration with Planned Parenthood, have unconstitutionally targeted faith-based organizations. This is a significant victory for the churches we represent, the conscience rights of their members, and other religious organizations that shouldn’t be ordered by the government to violate some of their deepest faith convictions.
It’s bad enough that abortion is legal in California throughout a woman’s pregnancy, up until the very moment of birth. But attempting to force churches to pay for abortion coverage is beyond the pale.
These lawsuits prove that once again, the monikers typically associated with the modern Left are deceptive.
Planned Parenthood and the Left are not “pro-choice.” They are only in favor of one choice: abortion.
The Left is also not “tolerant” of other beliefs; only those beliefs which are in alignment with their own. And should you disagree, you will be forced to comply – even to cooperate with the killing of innocent, preborn children.
Praise God that in this case, these churches in California will no longer be compelled to violate their conscience, and that they can continue to carry out their mission of introducing people to Jesus Christ free of government coercion.
The lawsuits are Foothill Church v. Rouillard and Skyline Wesleyan Church v. California Department of Managed Health Care.
Focus on the Family has been working to turn the cultural tide and save mothers and babies from abortion for years. Since beginning the Option Ultrasound Program in 2004, Focus has helped save nearly half a million lives.
If you are experiencing an unexpected pregnancy and want to learn more about your options, visit My Choice Network.
Focus on the Family offers a free, one-time counseling consultation with a licensed or pastoral counselor. To request a counseling consultation, call 1-855-771-HELP (4357) or fill out our Counseling Consultation Request Form.
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