Baptist Organization Representing 1,000 Churches Files Lawsuit Against Illinois Over Law Requiring Them to Cover Abortions

A Baptist church organization of about 1,000 member congregations and two businesses have filed a lawsuit against Illinois over a state law that requires insurance providers to cover abortion procedures.

The Illinois Baptist State Association, Southland Smiles, Ltd, and Rock River Cartage, Inc. filed a lawsuit Wednesday in the Circuit Court of the Seventh Judicial Circuit, Sangamon County.

At issue is Sec. 356z.4a, which reads, in part, “no individual or group policy of accident and health insurance that provides pregnancy-related benefits may be issued, amended, delivered, or renewed in this State … unless the policy provides a covered person with coverage for abortion care.”

“As a matter of sincerely held religious beliefs, Plaintiffs believe abortion involves the destruction of human life and is gravely wrong and sinful,” the lawsuit states.

“Plaintiffs believe that they cannot facilitate access to, subsidize, or otherwise materially cooperate with the provision of abortion without violating their conscience and most sacred and solemn obligations to God, betraying their professed religious faith, and disserving the best interests of their fellow human beings.”

The complaint argues, among other things, that the coverage mandate violated Illinois’ Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which states that the government cannot burden an individual’s religious liberty, save for a compelling state interest, and in the least restrictive means possible.

“The State has no compelling governmental interest to require Plaintiffs to comply with the Reproductive Health Act,” the lawsuit adds.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski