Foothill Church Among Three Others Suing State Over Abortion Coverage

Photo from the Wikimedia Commons.

A Christian non-profit organization filed a lawsuit Oct. 16 on behalf of three area churches, including a Glendora church, against the California Department of Managed Health Care over elective abortions in their health insurance plans.

Foothill Church, 242 W. Baseline Rd., was named along with Calvary Chapel Chino Hills in Chino and The Shepherd of the Hills Church in Porter Ranch in the lawsuit titled Foothill Church v. Rouillard.

Michelle Rouillard is the director of the California Department of Managed Health Care.

The lawsuit was filed in the Eastern District Court of California, according to written statement issued by Alliance Defending Freedom, the Christian organization representing the three churches.

According to the lawsuit filed, the three plaintiffs allege their First and Fourteenth Amendment Rights are being violated after the state mandated in August of 2014, that health insurance plans provide abortion coverage, including voluntary and elective abortions.

The lawsuit also states that the abortion mandate was issued without public notice or comment.

Foothill Church reportedly offers health care coverage under Kaiser Permanente and Blue Shield.

Foothill Church would not provide a comment to GCN, instead, they directed us to speak with Alliance Defending Freedom.

In a written statement, ADF Litigation Staff Counsel Jeremiah Galus said “because Obamacare requires health insurance coverage, and the California mandate requires abortion coverage in any health plan, these churches are truly left with no way to opt out of paying for abortions. What’s absurd, though, is that the same government that rightfully does not require California churches to pay for contraceptive coverage requires them to pay for elective abortion coverage.”

According to a Washington Post article from October of last year, Rouillard issued a letter to several California insurance providers, stating that all health plans must treat maternity and abortion services neutrally and that state law does provide a religious exemption.

Rouillard went on to say that “Although health plans are required to cover legal abortions, no individual health care provider, religiously sponsored health carrier, or health care facility may be required by law or contract in any circumstance to participate in the provision of or payment for a specific service if they object to doing so for reason of conscience or religion,”

The three plaintiffs feel the mandate “illegally and unconstitutionally” forces them to violate their Christian beliefs against the sanctity of life with threats of fines and penalties.