Earlier this month, the state of California demanded that even Catholic universities offer elective abortions through insurance plans. Life Legal Defense Foundation and Alliance Defending Freedom have filed a complaint with the United States Department of Health and Human Services. But for now, Loyola Marymount University, a private Catholic school, must offer elective abortions to all those under its insurance policy.
The campus newspaper Los Angeles Loyolan reported Saturday:
LMU’s insurance will cover faculty and staff for elective abortions effective from August 22 to the end of the policy period, the University announced.
The news was confirmed in an email sent to faculty and staff yesterday, Vice President for Human Resources Rebecca Chandler confirmed that LMU’s insurance providers will now cover all procedures deemed medically necessary, including elective abortions.
This reversal comes under the heavy hand of the state of California directive from Michelle Rouillard, director of the Department of Managed Healthcare (DMHC). Rouillard said, when the directive was issued, that “[a]bortion is a basic health care service.” And for now, Rouillard and Gov. Jerry Brown, a former Catholic seminary student, have their way in forcing Catholics to violate their conscience protections.
Though the university is following the law as it stands, the story is not over. The complaint to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, asserting the state of California’s discrimination against federal conscience protections, says:
DMHC ordered elective abortion coverage into the Complainants’ own LMU health plan…..This directive of the DMHC constitutes unlawful discrimination against a healthcare entity…. DMHC is subject[ing] Complainants’ “health insurance plan” to “discrimination,” by denying its approval of the plan that omitted elective abortions solely “on the basis that the [plan] does not… provide coverage of… abortions.
Life Legal Defense Foundation and Alliance Defending Freedom continue to fight for the rights of Catholic universities to be allowed to exercise their rights as well. Life Legal Defense Foundation said, “If you or anyone you know, individual, employer, or insurance provider, is directly affected by this decision, please contact Life Legal Defense Foundation.”
The response to the complaint filed with the Department of Health and Human Services is pending.