Opinion

California forces churches to pay for abortions

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In late summer, the California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) sent a chilling letter to all private health care insurers in the state, ordering them to cover all elective abortions. Immediately. Naturally, many California churches insure their staff members under these policies.

According to an October complaint filed by Alliance Defending Freedom and Life Legal Defense Foundation on behalf of several California churches, “the insurers were instructed to…remove any limitations on health coverage for abortions.” The insurance companies could not, for any reason, deny coverage to a woman for her abortion.

As the complaint states, “DMHC ordered elective abortion coverage into these churches’ health insurance plans.”

The DMHC’s letter acknowledged a religious exception to the abortion coverage – but only for the insurance companies. Stunningly, the state of California is not recognizing the right of churches to be religiously and conscientiously exempt from funding abortions.

Due to California forbidding denial of coverage for any abortion at all, churches in California are now being told they must cover late-term abortions, abortions in which babies who feel pain are literally ripped apart limb by limb, early abortions in which babies are sucked, spine last, into a vacuum device, and abortions for every conceivable reason under the sun, performed at any stage of pregnancy that the state allows.

And California, according to the Planned Parenthood associated Guttmacher Institute, “does not have any of the major types of abortion restrictions…often found in other states.” Guttmacher also acknowledges that “[a]bortions in California represent 17.2% of all abortions in the United States.”

Is nothing sacred anymore?

When even our churches – our foundational religious institutions – are forced by the government to fund the murder of innocents, we know that the force of law has taken a psychotic turn. When even churches cannot rely on their right of conscience to refuse to participate in cruel acts that violate human dignity, Christians everywhere must wake from our slumber.

All too often, where the state of California goes, so goes the nation.

Christians cannot allow this to happen. California has overreached beyond imagination. Through clouded words, shrouded legal terms, and a letter stamped with feigned authority, the government of California has fired a shot that must be heard round the world.

On October 23, Alliance Defending Freedom sent a letter to the City Council of Washington D.C., who is currently considering a bill that would “require employers to provide health insurance for abortions regardless of the employers’ beliefs or convictions.” If passed, this bill is written to apply to religious employers and pro-life organizations that operate in our nation’s capital.

It is time for Christians everywhere to stand up with one collective voice. Whether we are the pastors of churches, those who sit in the pews, members or employees of a religious organization, or simply concerned citizens, we can wait no longer to raise our voices.

In unity, and with purpose, we must declare that we will not participate in the murder of innocent children. We will not be forced to violate our consciences. We will not submit to the forced funding of abortion. By all peaceful means available to us, we must absolutely refuse to be forced into a national standard on abortion.

Abortion is not “reproductive health care.” It is neither healthy nor caring to rip a developing child from the womb of her mother.

And, like the seven objecting churches in California, it is high time we stand up on this issue and refuse to sit down.

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