Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Church's State Court Suit Challenges California Mandate For Health Insurance Abortion Coverage

A La Mesa, California church last week filed suit in state court against the California Department of Managed Health Care challenging a state requirement that all health insurance policies sold in California cover elective abortions, without exceptions.  The complaint (full text) in Skyline Wesleyan Church v. California Department of Managed Health Care, (Super. Ct., filed 2/4/2016), alleging violations of several state and federal constitutional provisions, contends:
the Mandate has created an inconsistent and untenable situation where Skyline Church and other religious employers do not have to provide health insurance coverage for contraceptives and infertility treatments but must pay for voluntary and elective abortions....
Defendants substantially burden Skyline Church's religious exercise when they force Skyline Church to choose between following its religious beliefs and suffering debilitating penalties under federal law or violating its conscience in order to avoid those penalties.
A similar challenge was filed in federal court by three other  churches last October. (See prior posting.)  ADF issued a press release announcing last week's state court lawsuit.