Denver Newsroom, Jul 22, 2021 / 17:03 pm
A Washington church won its case against a state abortion coverage mandate on Thursday, in a ruling by a federal appeals court.
Cedar Park Church in Bothell, Washington had filed a complaint in March 2019 regarding a state law that required employers – including churches – to cover abortions if their health plans also included maternity coverage. While state law allowed religious groups not to pay for abortion coverage, it required it to be available to enrollees; the church argued that it could not find a health plan without abortion coverage included.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday ruled that the church had “sufficient” cause to claim an injury in the case, and that injury was “fairly traceable to SB 6219,” the state abortion coverage mandate.
“No church should be forced to cover abortions, and certainly not a church like Cedar Park that dedicates its ministry to protecting and celebrating life,” said Elissa Graves, legal counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) which represented Cedar Park Church in the case.