http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/images/size340/shutterstock_church_pew_CNA_size.jpgWashington D.C., Jun 22, 2016 / 04:54 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Obama administration has rejected a challenge to the State of California’s requirement that health care plans include abortion coverage. A major federal budget amendment intended to protect abortion foes does not apply, it ruled.
Leaders with the U.S. bishops’ conference said it was “shocking” that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services allowed the State of California to force all employers, including churches, to fund and facilitate elective abortions.
“Even those who disagree on the issue of life should be able to respect the conscience rights of those who wish not to be involved in supporting abortion,” Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York and Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore said June 21.
The cardinal chairs the U.S. bishops’ pro-life committee, while the archbishop chairs the conference’s ad hoc religious freedom committee.
California’s mandatory abortion coverage rule responded to the efforts of two Catholic universities, Santa Clara University and Loyola Marymount University, which had sought health care plans that did not include elective abortion coverage. However, some faculty members objected to the exclusion of the coverage and their allies sought state intervention.