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Monday, October 21, 2019

Church challenges Washington State law mandating employers provide coverage for abortions

Lawsuits

By Marian Johns | Mar 27, 2019


SEATTLE (Legal Newsline) — A Washington State church has filed a lawsuit against the state's insurance commissioner and governor challenging the constitutionality of a state law that mandates employer-sponsored insurance to provide coverage for abortion in plans that include maternity care. 

According to the March 7 court filing, Cedar Park Assembly of God filed the claim against Myron Kreidler, Washington insurance commissioner and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. The church alleges that SB 6219, which requires employers to provide coverage for abortion and contraceptives that "destroy an embryo post-fertilization," violates the church's religious beliefs. 

The church argues the law goes against its constitution and bylaws that state "all human life is sacred" and that all employees should "abide by and agree with the church's moral and ethical standards." In addition, the church argues that all of its employees must sign a statement agreeing to the church's standards of conduct in their personal and professional lives.

The plaintiffs allege that Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice Washington "acted in concert" with Washington officials to draft the legislation and that the state's "attack on people of faith is intentional" due to not having any "church exception" in the drafting of the law. 

The lawsuit seeks an injunction enjoining the state and its agents from enforcing SB 6219.

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