In one of the most flagrant flauntings of the first amendment right to freedom to practice and exercise religion in the United States, the State of California is invoking a 1975 state law that says insurers must cover elective abortions. Â That includes churches and religious groups that object to abortion on religious grounds. Â (I.e., the act of killing a child in the womb is immoral.)
In August, Michelle Rouillard, director of Californiaâ€™s Department of Managed Health Care, said in aÂ letter to seven insurance companies that Californiaâ€™s Constitution and a 1975 state law require them to cover elective abortions in group plans.
As a result of this action, the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and Life Legal Defense Foundation (LLDF) have filed complaints with the Federal Department of Health and Human Services on behalf of seven churches whose first amendments rights have been violated.
To complicate matters, the California law requiring insurers to cover abortion violates Federal law on the same topic and puts federal payments to the state in jeopardy.
The Hyde Amendment, first passed in 1976, prohibits using federal tax money to fund elective abortions. And the Weldon Amendment, adopted with each Health and Human Services appropriations act since 2005, allows the federal government to withhold funding from any state that doesnâ€™t allow conscience objections in health plans. By mandating elective abortion coverage, California has placed itself at risk for losing federal funding.
This is what happens when abortion, the deliberate killing of an unborn child, is considered to be “basic health care” when in fact it is almost always and elective procedure for convenience. Â The Obama Administration tried to weasel its way into getting insurers to pay for the act by offering conscientious objections for CONTRACEPTION, and they lost one round in the Supreme Court over that, but abortion happens after that fact. Â California’s Department of Managed Health Care has taken it upon themselves to use the Federal government’s side-stepping and their own 1975 law to force churches to provide that which they consider morally abhorrent:
Californiaâ€™s Department of Managed Health Care has ordered all insurance plans in the state to immediately begin covering elective abortion. Not Plan B. Not contraceptives. Elective surgical dismemberment abortion.
At the insistence of the American Civil Liberties Union, the DMHC concluded that a 40-year-old state law requiring health plans to cover â€œbasic health servicesâ€ had been misinterpreted all these decades. Every plan in the state was immediately ordered, effective August 22, to cover elective abortion. California had not even applied this test to its own state employee health plans (which covered only â€œmedically necessaryâ€ abortions). But this novel reading was nevertheless quietly imposed on every plan in the state by fiat.
That is plain and simply a violation of First Amendment rights. Â No state may do that. Â Not even California.