by THOMAS D. WILLIAMS, PH.D.22 Jun 2016312
On Tuesday, the HHS Office of Civil Rights upheld a California abortion mandate that requires churches in California to pay for elective abortions.
The Obama administration had opened an investigation after churches filed a lawsuit against the regulation last October, seeking protection under the Weldon Amendment that guarantees conscience rights.
The administration claims that it found no violation of the Weldon Amendment and therefore is terminating its investigation without further action.
In 2014, the California Department of Managed Health Care reclassified abortion as “basic health care” under the Affordable Care Act and required all insurance plans in the state—including those of churches—to cover surgical abortions.
“Nearly two years after California imposed its draconian mandate that requires all insurance companies to pay for abortion the Obama Administration has reached a new low — reinterpreting the Weldon amendment to allow the mandate to continue,” said Rep. Chris Smith, Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Congressional Pro-Life Caucus.
“This means that Californians, including churches, will continue to be forced to pay for elective abortions in their insurance plans,” he said.