This Church Sued California for Forcing It to Pay for Abortions in Its Healthcare Plan

November 20, 2020
John Harding

The State of California began forcing churches to cover abortions in their health insurance plans in 2014. Even worse, many of these churches were not even informed about this change in coverage.

For many years, churches could purchase plans that provided quality health insurance coverage to their employees while still following their beliefs about the sanctity of life.

This is an example of the kind of tolerance that has existed for so many years in American society. Instead of forcing churches to violate their religious beliefs and convictions, plans without abortion coverage were made available. In most states, this is still the practice.

But in a shocking legal maneuver, the California Department of Managed Health Care sent a letter to insurance companies in August 2014, mandating abortion coverage in their insurance plans. This undermined religious freedom and eliminated the life-affirming options for churches and ministries that provide health insurance to their employees.

Foothill Church in Glendora, California learned from its insurer that it must cover elective abortions in its healthcare plan. And with the help of Alliance Defending Freedom, Foothill and two other California churches filed a lawsuit against the state. Today, on November 20, 2020, ADF attorneys are defending Foothill Church before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

In forcing churches and other religious ministries to fund elective abortions through their employee healthcare plans, California reinterpreted a law that had been on the books since the 1970s which required insurance companies to cover only medically necessary, basic healthcare services. The state suddenly claimed that requirement included elective abortions.

That is a remarkable claim: According to the State of California, an elective abortion is always a medically necessary, basic healthcare service.

Please pray for Foothill Church as ADF attorneys argue the church’s case at the 9th Circuit.

And if your church would like to further support this church in its case—as well as many other churches whose religious freedom is being challenged—consider membership in ADF Church Alliance.

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