Calif. Churches Sue Health Agency for ‘Inappropriate’ Planned Parenthood Deal

‘Going forward, DMHC will not approve any further plans that exclude coverage for abortion or other reproductive health care service…’

LAWSUIT: California State Agency Complied With Planned Parenthood's Demands, Instituted an Abortion Mandate for Churches

Planned Parenthood / IMAGE: Alliance Defending Freedom

(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) A group of California churches challenging a state mandate that requires them to provide abortive services in their health insurance plans discovered a series of emails between the California Department of Managed Health Care and Planned Parenthood.

In them, the abortion giant demanded that agency officials implement a mandate to “fix” the health plans of religious organizations.

Three San Diego-area churches sued the state agency in 2016, arguing that it overstepped its authority by requiring churches to violate their religious beliefs and cover abortions in their health insurance plans.

Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal nonprofit representing the churches, released the emails on Thursday, proving Planned Parenthood had a hand in creating the abortion mandate.

“Do you have time to sit down with us to discuss PPAC’s priority legislation this year?” asked one email from Brianna Pittman, a legislative advocate for Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, to a member of the DMHC.

“We have a handful of sponsored bills, including a bill we are looking into that would ensure employers can’t exclude abortion or other types of reproductive health care services form their employee health insurance plans,” the email continued. “There have been a couple of Catholic Universities that are excluding certain types of services from their health plans, and it appears that DMHC has approved these plans at some level.”

In another email from Pittman to the California Health and Human Services’ Donna Campbell, Planned Parenthood laid out its list of demands.

“Our folks would feel positive about pursing an administrative solution, in lieu of legislation this year, if the Administration would agree to: Going forward, DMHC will not approve any further plans that exclude coverage for abortion or other reproductive health care service,” the email states. “DMHC will rescind their approval of the Anthem Blue Cross & Kaiser plans (along with any other plans that include an abortion exclusion) so that those two providers cannot offer plans to employers in the future that will exclude abortion.”

In response, the DMHC issued its mandate in 2014.

ADF legal counsel Jeremiah Galus said the DMHC’s collusion with Planned Parenthood to force religious groups to violate their convictions is “shameful.”

“The government shouldn’t be forcing churches to pay for abortion, and it is shameful and inappropriate that the government did so in this case at the bidding of Planned Parenthood,” Galus said in a statement.

“California officials are required to follow the law and legal precedent, not the dictates of groups that have an axe to grind against religious organizations that don’t share their views on abortion.”