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Christian univ. employees file complaint against Calif. agency over mandatory abortion coverage

ADF, allies tell federal government California is violating conscience law

Friday, Sep 12, 2014

Attorney sound bite:  Casey Mattox

WASHINGTON  – Life Legal Defense Foundation and Alliance Defending Freedom have filed a formal complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services over the California Department of Managed Health Care’s decision to force Loyola Marymount University and its employees to pay for elective abortions in their health insurance plans. LLDF and ADF represent seven employees who do not want a plan covering elective abortions and allege that DMHC’s coercion of abortion coverage violates federal law.

In August, LLDF and ADF lodged a letter with DMHC warning it of its violation of federal law. DMHC responded by affirming its decision to force all plans to cover all abortions, without explaining how that decision squares with a federal law insisting otherwise.

“Forcing a Christian university to facilitate elective abortion is an assault on our most fundamental American freedoms,” said ADF Senior Counsel Casey Mattox. “California is violating the federal law that protects employers and employees from being strong-armed into having abortion in their health insurance plans. No state can ignore federal law and continue to unlawfully receive taxpayer money. So California has a choice: Stop forcing these employers to cover abortion or forfeit the tens of billions of dollars it receives under the condition that it follow the law.”

The LLDF and ADF letter explains that, because of the federal Weldon Amendment, “This directive of the DMHC constitutes unlawful discrimination against a health care entity…. Nothing in California law or the state’s constitution requires private health plans to cover abortions.”

“Under federal law, pro-life employers have the freedom to choose health insurance plans that do not conflict with their beliefs on the dignity of human life,” said LLDF Legal Director Catherine Short. “Already under Obamacare’s mandates, employers and individuals are required to purchase health insurance coverage they may not need or want. California cannot be allowed to discriminate against health plans that don’t cover elective abortions and force people to purchase coverage that conflicts with their convictions.”
  • Op-ed: “California’s abortion insurance mandate spotlights the Left’s 40-year devolution on conscience” by Casey Mattox (, 2014-09-07)

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
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