November 11, 2019 | From CBN News
A legal group that defends religious freedom has discovered evidence that Planned Parenthood is behind an effort in California to force religious organizations to provide abortion coverage.
The case centers around a California church that filed a federal lawsuit against a state health agency for forcing them to pay for elective abortions in their health insurance plans.
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In August 2014, Skyline Wesleyan Church in La Mesa was notified by California’s Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) that the health insurance plans they offered to employees must include coverage for elective abortions.
Skyline Pastor Lisa Amann said, “As Christians, we are fundamentally against the destruction of a person’s life and destiny.”
The church filed a complaint against the department, but a California district court rejected their request. The congregation appealed and is asking to reverse the district court ruling.
The church’s case was heard Monday at the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in Pasadena.
Alliance Defending Freedom represents Skyline and argues that these actions violate the church’s rights and freedoms under the state’s Administrative Procedures Act and both the federal and state constitutions.
“Churches have the freedom to set internal policies in alignment with biblical teachings about the importance of life, from conception to natural death,” said ADF Legal Counsel Denise Harle.
“The U.S. Supreme Court has consistently affirmed the right of churches to conduct their own internal affairs consistently with their faith. And it has long held that government hostility toward people of faith is unconstitutional and has no place in our society,” she continued.
DMHC allegedly changed its policy after being pressed by abortion advocates from Planned Parenthood.
ADF attorneys found emails from Planned Parenthood to the DMHC requiring agency officials to “fix” any exemptions for religious organizations that disagree with abortion.
The church was represented by ADF Attorney Jeremiah Galus, who maintained that DMHC “is misguided in its attempts to force a church to pay for elective abortions.”
(Excerpt from CBN News. Article by Andrea Morris.)