Three California churches filed a lawsuit Friday against California’s Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) as part of their fight against the DMHC’s classification last year of elective abortion as a “basic health service,” mandating abortion coverage in all state health care plans with no religious exemptions.
The California DMHC stated in an August 2014 letter to seven insurance companies that they were required to include elective abortions in their health plans with no exceptions. The letter came in response to complaints after Santa Clara University and Loyola Marymount University excluded elective abortion from their employee insurance policies on religious grounds.
The letter cites California’s Constitution and the 1975 Knox-Keene Health Care Service Plan Act, which “requires the provision of basic health care services” in justification of their abortion mandate.
The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, on behalf of the Foothill Church in Glendora, Calvary Chapel Chino Hills in Chino, and The Shepherd of the Hills Church in Porter Ranch.
The churches are suing Michelle Rouillard, the director of the DMHC, who issued the letter, and are seeking injunctive and declarative relief against the mandate.
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