Monday, March 11, 2019

Suit Challenges Washington State's Required Abortion Coverage

Last week, a church in Washington state filed suit in federal district court challenging the constitutionality of Washington Senate Bill 6219 signed into law last March which requires all health care plans in the state to cover contraceptives and sterilization, and to cover abortion to the same extent as they cover maternity care.  The complaint (full text) in Cedar Park Assembly of God of Kirkland, Washington v. Kreidler, (WD WA, filed 3/8/2019), alleges in part:
52. ... [T]his law targets organizations that have religious and moral beliefs against abortion. Washington State has a history of targeting religious and moral pro-life organizations and individuals.
53. The strong statutory language, lack of any church exception, and anticipated evidence that pro-abortion groups assisted in drafting and enacting SB 6219, indicates that Washington and its officials deliberately targeted religious organizations and intentionally violated those organizations’ religious beliefs.
The suit alleges violations of the Free Exercise, Equal Protection and Establishment Clauses. ADF issued a press release announcing the filing of the lawsuit.