A recent ruling by the Obama administration fueled the controversial abortion debate in California. The decision, handed down by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is regarded as a win for abortion proponents, and a setback for pro-life advocates.
So what are the major takeaways from this ruling, and how does it impact women’s health rights in California? Let’s take a look.
Federal Precedence, Local Impact
On June 22, 2016, the Obama administration ruled that the state of California didn’t violate any religious freedom rights back in 2014, when lawmakers forced health insurance companies to provide abortion for workers.
The 2014 decision launched a fresh debate about how insurance policies should handle abortion. While many women demand coverage for abortion services from their health insurance plans, a large portion of women (and other for-life supporters) think that religious freedom law prohibits such activity.
Leaders at many institutions (for example, Christian colleges, Catholic universities and other religious organizations) cite previously established U.S. law as precedence that makes it illegal for the government to force employers to offers abortion services.
However, the Obama administration’s HHS upheld the 2014 California decision, which reversed an effort by Loyola Marymount University and Santa Clara University, respectively.
The key factor in the recent HHS decision and the 2014 California court case stems from state law. According to California legislation, religious employers must hire people who carry similar religious beliefs. The HHS said that most employees of California religious institutions do not follow the same tenets as employers like LMU and SCU.
The Alliance Defending Freedom’s Casey Mattox said the HHS decision “continues its pattern of enforcing laws it wants to enforce…and inventing new interpretations of others out of whole cloth.”
Does this Impact Turning Point?
How does this impact the Turning Point Pregnancy Resource Center? It doesn’t. As a non-profit organization, Turning Point provides quality, confidential early pregnancy services to any woman in San Diego County. Whether you need a pregnancy test, ultrasound or counseling on pregnancy options, we’re here to help – regardless of the latest courtroom case, legal ruling or U.S. government policy. To get immediate assistance, please call us at (858) 397-1970.