Three California Churches Take Fight Against State Mandate to Provide Insurance Coverage for Abortions to Ninth Circuit Court

Pastor Jack Hibbs preaches at Calvary Chapel Chino Hills in California. | Calvary Chapel Chino Hills

Three churches went before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, arguing that California is unlawfully forcing them to provide insurance coverage for abortions.

Foothill Church in Glendora, Calvary Chapel Chino Hills in Chino, and The Shepherd of the Hills Church in Porter Ranch argued before the circuit court last Friday in San Francisco.

The churches are being represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative law firm that has successfully argued religious liberty cases before the United States Supreme Court.

ADF Senior Counsel Jeremiah Galus, who argued the case before the Ninth Circuit, said in a statement released in advance of oral arguments that the state “shouldn’t be forcing churches to pay for abortion.”

“We are asking the 9th Circuit to invalidate this unconstitutional mandate because California officials are required to follow the law and legal precedent, not the dictates of groups that have an axe to grind against religious organizations that don’t share their views on abortion,” said Galus.

In 2013, Loyola Marymount of Los Angeles and Santa Clara University dropped abortion coverage from their health insurance plans, to be in conformity with their Catholic beliefs.

In response, the California Department of Managed Health Care sent an official letter in August 2014 to Anthem Blue Cross and Kaiser Permanente saying that insurance companies operating in the state could not restrict abortion coverage.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski

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