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"Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness"

The State of California must not be allowed to force health insurance companies to include coverage for elective abortions as a part of their policies, which is what they now want to do. The reason this issue has surfaced is that two Catholic Universities in California announced they would not pay for elective abortions.

The California Department of Managed Health Care recently advised seven HMO’s that not paying for an abortion, whether it was necessary or not, is in conflict with a California law that was written in 1975, and in conflict with the California State Constitution.

Michelle Rouillard, the director of the Department of Managed Health Care, stated in her announcement to the health carriers “all health plans must treat maternity services and legal abortion neutrally.” It should also be noted at this point, that the two Catholic universities under the State’s scrutiny provided a way for their employees to pay extra for abortion coverage to be obtained through a third party.

The proposed action of Ms. Rouillard is not possible for two reasons. The first reason, and perhaps the most significant, is this proposed action is an attack on the core tenants of a denomination’s faith. The Catholic Church in this country has endured a great deal of bad press due to the inexcusable action of the priests who were accused of pedophilia. However, in one area their commitment has stayed strong, and will I believe, continue to do so and that is the commitment to the defense of new life and the rights of the yet to be born.

As a former Southern Baptist Pastor, I know the theological imperative is constant, life is to be defended. Those in this state and country who believe that new life in the womb is only a collection of fetal tissue, are doing nothing more than philosophizing a position to support their own self-centered, ‘ I want to be in total control and I don’t want to be bothered with a new life’ outlook.

The second reason I believe the State of California must not be allowed to force health insurance companies to include coverage for elective abortions, is that it is in conflict with Federal Law. The Affordable Care Act requires employers to provide health insurance to its workers, but it does not mandate insurance coverage for abortion. A conflict between the two branches of government could develop over the mandate issue, and I hope both of the Catholic Universities under the gun, and perhaps other faith-based organizations, will take this issue to the Supreme Court.

The Declaration of Independence declares that we have the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”--- a child in the womb living inside its mother in this country, needs to have that right to life protected. I urge Governor Brown to remember his Seminary teachings and take a position to defend new life and protect the rights of the unborn.

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