Foothill Church v. Rouillard

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Thursday, November 19, 2020

Description:  The California Department of Managed Health Care is forcing churches to pay for elective abortions in their health insurance plans. Its mandate forces all insurance plans to cover all abortions. The state doesn’t force churches to pay for contraceptive coverage but nonetheless requires them to pay for elective abortion coverage.

Churches to court: Stop California agency from forcing us to provide abortion

ADF attorneys represent three California churches
Thursday, November 19, 2020

WHO: Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys

WHAT: Available for media interviews following oral arguments in Foothill Church v. Rouillard

WHEN: Friday, Nov. 20, immediately following hearing, which begins at 1 p.m. PST

WHERE: Oral argument can be heard via livestream (once posted, look for “San Francisco Courtroom 3 1:00 PM Friday 11/20”; to schedule an interview, contact ADF Media Relations Specialist Alice Chao at (202) 734-8987 or submit a request online

SAN FRANCISCO – Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys will be available for media interviews immediately following oral arguments Friday before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in a lawsuit against the California Department of Managed Health Care for forcing churches to pay for elective abortions in their health insurance plans.

Foothill Church in Glendora, Calvary Chapel Chino Hills in Chino, and The Shepherd of the Hills Church in Porter Ranch are challenging the department’s mandate on appeal in Foothill Church v. Rouillard.

“The government shouldn’t be forcing churches to pay for abortion,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jeremiah Galus, who will argue before the court. “We are asking the 9th Circuit to invalidate this unconstitutional mandate because California officials are required to follow the law and legal precedent, not the dictates of groups that have an axe to grind against religious organizations that don’t share their views on abortion.”

As revealed in e-mails that Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys who represent the churches discovered, the agency issued its mandate in response to specific demands from Planned Parenthood. Those demands asked agency officials to implement a “fix” requiring the health plans of religious organizations to include coverage for abortion, regardless of moral or conscientious objections and despite state recognition up to that point that religious groups shouldn’t be subject to such requirements. The abortion giant threatened to promote its own legislative “solution” if the administrative agency didn’t act, so DMHC issued its mandate in 2014.
  • Pronunciation guide: Galus (GAL’-us)

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
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Additional resources: Foothill Church v. Rouillard

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Thursday, November 19, 2020

Previous news releases:

  • 2019-04-04: E-mails: California forced religious groups to pay for abortion coverage at Planned Parenthood’s bidding
  • 2017-09-01: California churches considering next step after decision that forces them to pay for abortion coverage
  • 2016-05-05: Churches to court: Stop California agency from forcing us to provide abortion coverage
  • 2015-10-16: Churches sue Calif. agency for forcing them to provide abortion coverage

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