The leading pro-life spokesmen for the Catholic bishops are blasting an Obama administration decision revoking federal protection for chruches in California forced to pay for abortions.
As LifeNews reported, churches in California are officially subject to an onerous state regulation that requires them to pay for abortions, thanks to a ruling by the Obama administration.
The troubling situation began in 2014 when the California Department of Managed Health Care reclassified abortion as a “basic health service” under the Affordable Care Act and ordered all insurance plans in the state to begin covering surgical abortions immediately.Even churches are not exempt from funding abortions.
The churches filed a lawsuit against the regulation last October, and it has been moving through the courts.
They also asked the Obama administration to uphold the Weldon Amendment — federal law that protects conscience rights. But, this week, the HHS Office of Civil Rights released the results of its investigation into the California abortion mandate, stating it found no violation and is closing its investigation of the complaints without further action.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is calling for an immediate federal legislative remedy and says the Obama administration got it wrong The bishops say the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) declared, contrary to the plain meaning of current federal law, that the California Department of Managed Health Care can continue to force all health plans under its jurisdiction to cover elective abortions.
It is shocking that HHS has allowed the State of California to force all employers – even churches – to fund and facilitate elective abortions in their health insurance plans. Even those who disagree on the issue of life should be able to respect the conscience rights of those who wish not to be involved in supporting abortion,” Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York and Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore said in a statement.