Churches in California refuse to pay for elective abortions, file lawsuit against health care department

Activists hold signs as they rally against abortion outside City Hall in Los Angeles, California, on Sept. 29, 2015.Reuters

The faith community is against abortion, and this is why when the California Department of Managed Health Care demanded that churches within its jurisdiction pay for elective abortions in their health insurance plans, the churches refused to comply and decided to fight back.

According to Charisma News, the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed a federal lawsuit in behalf of the churches against the California health care department last week for trying to force churches to pay for something that they are clearly against.

"Churches should not be forced to pay for the killing of innocent human life," said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley. "The government has no right to demand that church health insurance plans contain coverage for abortion —something that violates these churches' most sincerely held religious beliefs. California is violating the Constitution by strong-arming churches into having this coverage in their plans."

ADF is representing Foothill Church in Glendora, Calvary Chapel Chino Hills in Chino, and The Shepherd of the Hills Church in Porter Ranch. It filed the lawsuit Foothill Church v. Rouillard in the US District Court for the Eastern District of California.

ADF Litigation Staff Counsel Jeremiah Galus said these churches are "left with no way to opt out of paying for abortions" because Obamacare requires health insurance coverage while California requires abortion coverage in their health plan.

"What's absurd, though, is that the same government that rightfully does not require California churches to pay for contraceptive coverage requires them to pay for elective abortion coverage. Californians should not be forced to choose between following their deepest convictions and submitting to unlawful and unnecessary government mandates," said Galus.

"Elective abortions are not part of 'basic health care,'" he said. "They have no business being forced into the medical coverage provided by churches that do not wish to support terminating lives due to very real, sincere, and well-known faith convictions. We hope the court will require California to follow the Constitution and respect these churches' fundamental freedoms."