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California Forces Catholic Universities to Cover All Abortion

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I told you this was coming. Now, Jerry Brown has decided to force two Catholic universities to cover abortion in their health insurance. From the San Francisco Chronicle story:

Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration has reversed an earlier decision to allow two Catholic universities to eliminate coverage of most abortions for employees, saying state law requires health insurance plans to cover all abortions…

Urged by abortion-rights groups and university employees to reconsider the issue, Brown’s Department of Managed Health Care, in letters to be sent Friday to insurers for both universities, said the exclusions violate a 1975 state law that requires group health plans to cover all basic services – defined, by the law, as those that are “medically necessary.”

“Abortion is a basic health care service,” the department’s director, Michelle Rouillard, said in the letter.

Religious freedom means nothing to those who wish to use health care to impose their secularist world view on everyone.

One more point: Over at First Things, I have a piece about how “pro-choice” is fast becoming “pro-abortion.” Here is the conclusion, which I ask you to ponder in connection with the California authoritarianism:

“I expect that in the coming years abortion rights supporters will execute a tactical retreat that admits the humanity of the unborn, conjoined with a strong counter-offensive dismissing the moral relevance of that biological fact. What matters, advocates will increasingly assert, is the state’s guarantee that women’s reproductive desires are fulfilled—with abortion viewed as a positively good way of doing so.”

Can I call them, or can I call them?

What starts in California doesn’t stay in California. Forced abortion coverage will be the next front in the war against religious freedom.

Editor’s note. This appeared on Wesley’s great blog.

The mandate in California requiring Catholic universities to cover all abortions is a contentious issue that intersects with debates on religious freedom, reproductive rights, and healthcare policy.

  1. Religious Freedom: Catholic universities, guided by religious teachings, often oppose abortion on moral and ethical grounds. Forcing these institutions to provide coverage for abortion procedures challenges their religious freedom and autonomy, as it compels them to violate their deeply held beliefs.
  2. Reproductive Rights: On the other hand, proponents of the mandate argue that access to abortion is a fundamental aspect of reproductive rights and healthcare. They contend that individuals should have the freedom to make choices about their reproductive health without facing discrimination or restrictions based on religious beliefs.
  3. Legal Challenges: The mandate in California has sparked legal challenges from Catholic universities and other religious organizations. These legal battles often center on constitutional protections for religious freedom and whether the mandate violates the religious beliefs and practices of these institutions.
  4. Impact on Healthcare Access: The mandate’s impact extends beyond religious institutions to affect individuals seeking healthcare coverage. By requiring coverage for all abortions, the mandate ensures that individuals have access to a full range of reproductive healthcare services, including abortion, without facing financial barriers or discrimination.
  5. Political and Ideological Divide: The mandate reflects broader political and ideological divisions surrounding abortion rights and religious liberties. It underscores the ongoing debate between proponents of reproductive rights and advocates for religious freedom, highlighting the challenges of reconciling these conflicting values within the context of public policy.
  6. Compromise and Accommodation: Some proponents of religious freedom advocate for compromise measures that respect both the rights of religious institutions and the healthcare needs of individuals. These may include exemptions or accommodations for religious organizations that allow them to adhere to their beliefs while ensuring access to alternative healthcare options for employees or students.

In summary, the mandate in California requiring Catholic universities to cover all abortions raises complex ethical, legal, and social issues at the intersection of religious freedom and reproductive rights. Finding a balance between these competing interests remains a challenge as society grapples with questions of individual autonomy, religious liberty, and access to healthcare.


Daniel Miller is responsible for nearly all of National Right to Life News' political writing.

With the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency, Daniel Miller developed a deep obsession with U.S. politics that has never let go of the political scientist. Whether it's the election of Joe Biden, the midterm elections in Congress, the abortion rights debate in the Supreme Court or the mudslinging in the primaries - Daniel Miller is happy to stay up late for you.

Daniel was born and raised in New York. After living in China, working for a news agency and another stint at a major news network, he now lives in Arizona with his two daughters.

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