October 24, 2014

Is California forcing churches to pay for abortions?

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(RNS) Seven churches in California received notifications from their insurers that elective surgical abortion coverage would be required as part of their employee health plans.

  • Frank

    Religious liberty and free are the new civil rights of our day. Fight on churches!

  • Larry

    If it comes from “Alliance Defending Freedom” this is probably a grossly exaggerated non-story. They are notorious for making dishonest press releases and filing frivolous lawsuits.
    [The Idaho wedding chapel Story on this site is a good example]

    Lying and exaggeration are a major part of anti-choice political and litigation action. Accommodation already exists for church employees and related non-profits to avoid covering this sort of thing.

    That being said, Hobby Lobby was still a boneheaded decision. An employer has no business micromanaging the healthcare choices of their employees based on personal peccadilloes.

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  • Religious organizations aren’t being forced to do anything other than pay their portion of health insurance. Their employees, as the insured, have a right to use any of the services offered them under their coverage. That is not forcing anyone to do anything, both sides are simply complying with the law.
    To give anyone an exemption from a universal law is sheer idiocy and hypocrisy. If they are Americans and are covered by the same law as the rest of us, they should follow the law the same as the rest of us. By making an exception you open up a whole can of worms. A hardware store run by Seventh Day Adventists might oppose their employees seeing a doctor for any reason, would that be allowed?
    It’s time our government gave churches a little “tough love.” Tell them where to shove their objections!

  • Larry

    Agree with you 100%. This is simply an example of Christians trying to exert an alleged privilege to ignore laws they find inconvenient.

    The story is being put out by the “Alliance Defending Freedom” a group which is actively trying to bring back discrimination under color of law in favor of Christians. This means any facts alleged here are probably bogus until otherwise verified by an outside source.

    In general these morons want Christians to be exempt from any laws which require them to show basic decency and respect for anyone else.

  • A

    Shove their convictions? You’re a raving fascist. Also, a anti-religious bigot.

  • Mr. Bewildered

    Your comments worry people like me — and I’m prochoice, btw — because if we keep forcing everyone into a one-size-fits-all world, we’re going to have civil strife. A lot of people on the right fear our government now and are preparing for who knows what. Whether that’s paranoia or rooted in reality won’t matter if we keep having these disputes. Abortion should have been left out of universal health. It’s simply too controversial to mandate coverage over. You can’t reconcile those who believe it’s murder with those who don’t. So let’s stop, please. There is plenty of prochoice money available to pay for abortions and we can set up funding streams that avoid compelling people to pay for something they don’t believe in. Abortion is a far more serious issue than the ones to which you allude in your post. For pro lifers it’s literally a life and death debate. Get that through your head — they will not take this lying down and the prochoice side will earn many more enemies than it’s ever had if it continues down this profoundly stupid path.

  • @A,

    “Bigot”

    If it is not bigoted to preach Jesus to a non-believer
    It CANNOT BE BIGOTED to preach against Jesus to a believer.

    People have rights, but ideas do not have rights.
    Religion is just an idea.

    “Bigot” is a word for someone who is prejudiced against someone else for features they are born with: skin color, hair color, eye color, ethnicity, etc.
    That kind of prejudice is unfair and wrong.

    Doctors are against Cancer, not cancer patients.
    Anti-theists against Christianity, not Christians.

  • Larry

    To hell with that.

    The conservatives already turned the healthcare bill into a compromised form which barely performs its intended function. They openly opposed any efforts at dealing with healthcare in a rational and sane manner. They had their chance to make compromises on the subject and took the opportunity to attack the very concept.

    I don’t need to reconcile with pro-lifers or compromise with them. Their position is an open attack to born people and reflects a position which brooks no middle ground. Any accommodation given is used as a way to attack the right to choose.

    They may be dogmatic, but it doesn’t mean that their position has merit. They even acknowledge how irrational their POV is by making religious or emotional appeals or constantly engaging in “sl1ut shaming” to support their views.

    Btw when someone states their alleged position at the beginning and then proceeds to refute it, it lacks credibility.For an alleged pro-choice person, you are parroting the anti-choice tropes and rhetoric. So Mr. Bewildered, when have you stopped lying?

  • John

    It is worrisome how easily many Americans become willing to throw out key Constitutional rights for religious people and organizations when their values conflict with contemporary liberal values. If we really don’t need “freedom of religion” what other Constitutional freedoms do we not need that get in the way of the collective/progressive/liberal agenda? Speech? Press? (oh that message…its hate speech), Assembly (oh that group…they are domestic terrorists because of what they stand for).

  • John

    Wow. What humanity there. The unborn are not human. They are disposable.

    Like in Orwell’s Animal Farm — all the animals are equal it is just that some are more equal than others… in this case “the born”.

    Perhaps Nietsche and Foucault are right about human society. Down deep we really are just animals where the strong finish off the weak and get to determine what kind of society we are going to live in. Maybe we are just kidding ourselves that there is something special and noble about being human when we can so easily discard our own young.

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  • @John,

    I see. So are you in favor of the State owning your body – literally deciding what you can do with it?
    Don’t want to give up your kidney to save someone’s life? So the state should come and take it against your will?

    Don’t want to give blood today? Too bad – the state needs to save some lives so they are sending a crew right over to seize your body and take your blood.

    Why force women to endure a pregnancy against their will? You don’t have that right and you can’t force the state on them!
    Whether you like it or not a woman MUST have the right to own her body and make decisions over her body.

    Life isn’t perfect – but it isn’t made more perfect by forcing women to endure a pregnancy which they have decided not to. It simply is NOT your place to make that decision for them.

    Otherwise roll up your sleeve and we’ll let the state force things on YOUR body too! All to save lives!

    You have no clue what freedom is.

  • Larry

    Its even more worrisome that people confuse religious freedom with simply pouting and bullying to get one’s way. Freedom of religion like every other freedom has limits. Usually when it is employed to attack similar rights of others. Freedom of religion does not grant one right to make decisions over the lives of others.

    These alleged Christians don’t want freedom, they want license to run roughshod over anyone who believes differently than they do.

    Besides, the story is more likely than not, a complete fabrication. Lying for the Lord appears to be the MO of the “Alliance Defending Freedom”.

  • Larry

    When someone lied as baldly as Mr. Bewildered did, they deserved little courtesy. Who the hell are you kidding here? Your concern for life ends after birth.

    “Disposable life” to you being that of women who carry pregnancies they do not want/can’t bring to term. Their concerns ignored, minimized or attacked as not being worthy of consideration.

    They are unborn. Thanks to biology, it is ridiculous to grant them greater rights than born people. Especially greater than the person who keeps them alive. It is always the mother’s will which keeps a fetus alive. This means the all too common equating of a fetus with a born child is inherently dishonest. Although any human being can keep a born infant alive, the mother and only the mother keeps a fetus alive, at her own personal bodily risk.

    What kind of society would we have if we have to forcibly restrain pregnant women, treat them as non-people, and outright attack them in order to bring a fetus to term, whose life you will treat with so much contempt and indifference?

  • rob

    just another form of Christian persecution .. yet its our own fault not making sure the person we voted for was a conservative Christian..

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  • Vic Christian

    Jack and others – if any portion of the insurance coverage that provides for abortion services must be paid by the employer then the government is violating that employers religious rights. In principle, this is no different than Nazi Germany requiring, by law, that certain groups of people be turned over to the state for eventual execution.