This puts the contraception mandate to shame.
Thanks to a newly enforced regulation in California, abortion is now a “basic health care service” in the state. The Federalist’s Casey Mattox reported the unfortunate news:
California’s Department of Managed Health Care has ordered all insurance plans in the state to immediately begin covering elective abortion. Not Plan B. Not contraceptives. Elective surgical dismemberment abortion.
Churches inevitably fall under the “all” category. Besides the human rights issue of abortion is the religious freedom issue. Forcing churches to fund the procedure is a direct violation of their First Amendment rights. Unlike the Christian-owned arts and crafts company Hobby Lobby and its fight against the contraception mandate (which the former thankfully won this summer), the situation in California puts actual religious institutions up against a mandate that would force them to fund abortion in an even more direct route.
In a bit of sad irony, churches in California are exempt from having to fund chemical abortions. Mattox touched on the baffling situation:
This leaves California churches in the illogical and impossible position of being free to exclude contraceptives from their health plan for reasons of religious conscience but required to provide their employees with abortion coverage.
The non-profit legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom and the public interest Life Legal Defense Foundation have filed formal complaints against the mandate with the Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights.