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California Catholic Church Says Health Regulator Action Violates Civil Rights

Lars Hammar / Flickr Creative Commons
 

Lars Hammar / Flickr Creative Commons

Catholic leaders in California filed a complaint with the federal government after the California Department of Managed Health Care sent a letter to major health insurers in August. The regulator told plans that abortion is a basic health care service, and the California Constitution bars insurers from “discriminating against women who choose to terminate a pregnancy.”

But Auxiliary Bishop Robert McElroy in San Francisco says California’s actions violate a federal law.

“We’re certainly not objecting insurance companies having the right to issue policies covering any of these services, what we’re saying is, companies should be allowed the freedom which they have used and sought to provide insurance policies to those individuals who don’t want abortion.” 

The Department of Managed Health Care says it sent the letters after it was notified that some health plan documents limited abortion services.

The Church says the regulator’s action directly targets Catholic institutions.