Washington State Law Would Force Churches to Fund Abortions
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You’d think a church would be the last place that would have to worry about being forced to pay for abortions. But that’s where Cedar Park Assembly of God found itself after the State of Washington passed a law requiring organizations—including churches.
The law states that if the church offers maternity care coverage to its employees, it must provide coverage of abortions or face fines and criminal penalties, including imprisonment.
The Cedar Park congregation prayed and then reached out to Alliance Defending Freedom, the nation’s largest law firm handling religious liberty cases. ADF then filed a federal lawsuit.
According to the suit, the law violates the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause regarding religion “by targeting the church’s legitimate internal policies and religious beliefs.”
The District Court dismissed the case and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit heard oral arguments in the church’s appeal in the case July 9 in Seattle.
“Churches must be free to operate according to their religious convictions, including the belief that human life begins at conception and is sacred,” said legal counsel Elissa Graves of Alliance Defending Freedom.
“Washington state has no legal or constitutional basis to force Cedar Park to provide insurance coverage for abortions — an action that directly contradicts the church’s extensive work in caring for vulnerable individuals,” she said.
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