California not only expects churches to fund the killing of unborn babies but doesn’t want insurance companies to mention abortion coverage in plan documents.
The federal government intends to put a stop to it. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) issued a notice to California that it is violating federal laws that protect conscience and religion freedom rights by forcing religious organizations to provide coverage for elective abortions.
If, after 30 days, OCR does not receive sufficient assurance that California will come into compliance with federal law, OCR will forward the Notice of Violation and the evidence supporting OCR’s findings in this matter to the HHS funding components from which California receives funding for appropriate action under applicable grants and contracts regulations. This action may ultimately result in limitations on continued receipt of certain HHS funds.
This is not the first time OCR has found California to be in violation of federal conscience statutes. In January 2019, OCR found that California violated the Weldon and Coats-Snowe Amendments when it subjected pregnancy resource centers in the state to potential fines and discrimination for refusing to post notices referring for free or low-cost abortions.
California also required medically licensed crisis pregnancy centers, whose mission is to save lives, to essentially promote abortions by posting a notice reminding women they can kill their babies at the taxpayers’ expense. Pregnancy centers said the mandate violated their First Amendment right not to express views they opposed.
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that the law “unduly burdens protected speech” and “imposes a government-scripted, speaker-based disclosure requirement that is wholly disconnected from the State’s informational interest.”