California Catholics challenge state health insurance abortion requirement

California's Catholic leadership has filed a federal civil rights complaint over a state requirement that health insurance cover abortions.
California's Catholic leadership has filed a federal civil rights complaint over a state requirement that health insurance cover abortions. Photo by Tahc via Wikimedia Commons

California's Catholic leadership has filed a federal civil rights complaint over a state requirement that health insurance cover abortions.

The California Catholic Conference, which represents the state's bishops and archbishops, sent a letter Tuesday to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It contends that California's Department of Managed Health Care discriminated against people morally opposed to abortion and requests an investigation.

The complaint is under review. The state agency didn't immediately comment.

The Catholic conference is challenging a directive the state agency sent in August notifying seven insurance companies that they can't sell group plans that exclude coverage for legal abortions.

The complaint claims that directive targeted Santa Clara University and Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, which dropped subsidized health plan coverage of elective abortions.

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