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Churches to court: Stop California agency from forcing us to provide abortion coverage

ADF attorneys available to media following hearing Friday

Thursday, May 5, 2016

NOTE: Related update here (2016-06-21).

Attorney sound bites:  Jeremiah Galus | Erik Stanley

WHO: ADF Legal Counsel Jeremiah Galus, ADF Senior Counsel Erik Stanley
WHAT: Available to media after hearing on motion to dismiss in Foothill Church v. Rouillard
WHEN: Immediately following hearing, which begins at 10 a.m. PDT, Friday, May 6
WHERE: Robert T. Matsui Federal Courthouse, 501 I St. 15th floor, Courtroom 3, Sacramento

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Jeremiah Galus and ADF Senior Counsel Erik Stanley will be available for media interviews immediately following Galus’ arguments in federal court Friday in favor of allowing the lawsuit of three churches against a California agency to proceed. The churches filed suit in October of last year against the state’s Department of Managed Health Care for forcing churches to pay for elective abortions in their health insurance plans.

“The government shouldn’t be forcing churches to pay for the killing of innocent human life,” Galus explained. “These churches have no way to avoid paying for abortions because Obamacare requires health insurance coverage, and the California mandate requires abortion coverage in any health plan. What’s bizarre, though, is that the same government that quite rightfully does not require California churches to pay for contraceptive coverage nonetheless requires them to pay for elective abortion coverage. We trust the court will allow the churches to proceed with challenging this obviously inconsistent and unconstitutional mandate.”

“No state agency anywhere has the right to demand that church health insurance plans contain coverage for abortion—something that clearly violates these churches’ most sincerely held religious beliefs,” added Stanley. “That’s why we are asking the court to deny the state’s request to dismiss this lawsuit.”

ADF filed the lawsuit, Foothill Church v. Rouillard, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California on behalf of Foothill Church in Glendora, Calvary Chapel Chino Hills in Chino, and The Shepherd of the Hills Church in Porter Ranch.

In 2014, ADF and Life Legal Defense Foundation filed formal complaints with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services against DMHC regarding California’s mandate and its violation of federal conscience law. Those came on the heels of a complaint filed directly with DMHC, which responded by affirming its decision to force all plans to cover all abortions without any explanation as to how that decision squares with the Constitution and contrasting federal law.
  • Pronunciation guide: Galus (GAL’-us)

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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