The Skyline Church Case
Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (FCDF) has filed suit, along with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorneys on behalf of Skyline Wesleyan Church in La Mesa, California. The lawsuit was filed in California Superior Court for the County of San Diego against the California Department of Managed Health Care (CDMH) for forcing Skyline Wesleyan Church as well as other churches to pay for elective abortions in their health insurance plans. FCDF alleges that this abortion mandate violates Skyline Wesleyan’s Federal and California Constitutional rights to the free exercise of religion, and equal protection under the law, and the California Administrative Procedure Act.
In August 2014, the California Department of Managed Healthcare (CDMH) issued a mandate requiring all group health insurance plans in California to provide coverage for all legal abortions, including completely voluntary and elective abortions. Previously, organizations which did not want to provide insurance coverage for voluntary abortions could simply purchase health insurance which did not provide for it. This included numerous churches, non-profits, and other organizations of conscience.
“Because Obamacare requires employers to provide health insurance coverage, the California mandate has now challenged churches with no way to opt out of paying for abortions,” said FCDF Chief Counsel Charles LiMandri. “Let’s be reasonable – California is violating its own laws and constitution as well as the U.S. Constitution by forcing organizations to deny their religious beliefs by complying with these mandates. Not only did CDMH change the contracts between church and health insurance providers, but they even tried to prevent health insurance providers from informing churches about the new coverage!”