The following comes from an Aug. 22 story on the website of the Cardinal Newman Society.
California Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration announced today that it will force Loyola Marymount University (LMU) and Santa Clara University (SCU)—as well as any other religious nonprofit or business—to violate their deeply held beliefs and provide employees insurance coverage for elective abortion, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The decision has an impact far beyond LMU and SCU by forcing any California organization that is not self-insured to provide “elective” abortion services as part of its health plans – an action that clearly violates the Weldon Amendment, which prevents states from mandating that a health insurance plan includes abortion coverage.
“The Obama administration and Congress made a promise to the American people, that no federal dollars would flow to programs that force abortion coverage upon employees, especially those who find abortion to be morally repugnant,” said Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick J.Reilly. “Governor Brown is in violation of federal law, and he needs to respect religious freedom or lose all federal funding for California’s health and human services programs.”
“All employers in California who have the opportunity to self-insure should look into the option, so that Governor Brown no longer has the authority to force abortion coverage on their employees,” Reilly said.
The Cardinal Newman Society recently reported that California’s Department of Managed Health Care was reconsidering its approval of employee health plans for LMU and SCU, which do not cover any “elective” abortion that is not “medically necessary.”
The Department reportedly sent letters Friday to insurers for both of the universities, alerting them of the change. According to the Chronicle, the letters state that the previous exclusions violate the 1975 state law which calls for all basic services to be covered by any group health plan.
Santa Clara president Michael Engh reportedly said before the reversal was announced, “Our core commitments as a Catholic university are incompatible with the inclusion of elective abortion in the university’s health plan.”
Until this situation unfolded, California insurers had covered all abortions, elective or otherwise, as medically necessary within their respective health plans. Brown’s administration has heeded the pressure from abortion-rights advocates in this reversal.
As reported by Breitbart News Network, chief counsel for Planned Parenthood Beth Parker said, “We’re thrilled the state is complying with California law and ensuring that women of California have access to all reproductive health services.”
To read original story, click here.
You can’t force this
The following comes from an Aug. 22 release from Alliance Defending Freedom.
Life Legal Defense Foundation and Alliance Defending Freedom sent a letter Friday to the California Department of Managed Health Care condemning its decision to force two Jesuit universities to cover elective abortions in their health insurance plans. The letter alleges that the decision violates federal law, under which the state cannot mandate that a health insurance plan include abortion coverage without forfeiting federal funds.
“Faith-based organizations should be free to operate according to the faith they espouse and live out on a daily basis,” said ADF Senor Legal Counsel Matthew Bowman. “When Congress enacted the Weldon Amendment, it sought to ensure that the government could never strong-arm pro-life employers into paying for abortion coverage; therefore, California’s decision is illegal. No state can ignore federal law in a pursuit to conform everyone to the state’s own ideology on abortion.”
The letter, sent on behalf of the Cardinal Newman Society, explains that because of the Weldon Amendment, “DMHC cannot deny approval to or otherwise penalize a health insurance plan for failing to provide coverage of some or all abortions. In its failed lawsuit against the Amendment, California admitted that all of its departments are subject to the Amendment due to some of those departments receiving over $40 billion in federal funds.”
“The DMHC’s action is a clear violation of the Weldon Amendment and, if not reversed, could trigger loss of funding to the entire state and its departments.,” the letter adds. “If DMHC does not reverse its decision, we are prepared to file complaints with the Office of Civil Rights of the Department of Health and Human Services.”
“Under federal law, pro-life employers have the freedom to choose health insurance plans that do not conflict with their beliefs on the dignity of human life,” added LLDF Legal Director Catherine Short. “Already under Obamacare’s mandates, employers and individuals are required to purchase health insurance coverage they may not need or want. California cannot be allowed to discriminate against health plans that don’t cover elective abortions and force people to purchase coverage that conflicts with their convictions.”
The colleges have been providing this coverage under California law since 1975.
Contrary to the above quote in the article “Until this situation unfolded, California insurers had covered all abortions, elective or otherwise”, the CA Knox-Keene Health Care Service Plan Act of 1975 was not understood to cover abortion as a basic service until the federal Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case (573 U.S. ___ 2014 )( https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/13-354_olp1.pdf ) was decided by the Supreme Court on June 30, 2014 regarding the HHS abortion mandate concerning the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Once the CA Department of Managed Health saw the outcome of the case (that abortion coverage could not be mandated to a closely held corporation that had religious convictions against abortion), they issued…
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letters to Aetna (on Aug 22, 2014) and other insurance carriers that conveniently redefined the CA Knox-Keene Health Care Service Plan Act of 1975 to somehow now include abortion as an essential service ( https://www.dmhc.ca.gov/Portals/0/082214letters/aetna082214.pdf ). In the letter the CA Department of Managed Health referred to both the Knox-Keene Act and the CA Constitution, neither of which determine abortion as an essential service, nor force insurance carriers to cover abortion. The CA Department of Managed Health most likely was referring to the CA Supreme Court case Committee to Defend Reproductive Rights v. Myers (S.F. No. 24069. Supreme Court of California. March 20, 1981). But this case, and…
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it’s misguided judgement (particularly on US Constitutional 1st, 5th, and 14th amendment grounds – 1st on religious grounds, 5th and 14th on Life and due process grounds), dealt with state governmental programs and legislative funding – not private insurance companies, nor private religious organizations and individuals, which were far outside of the intent of the opinion in this case. The CA Department of Managed Health redefinition of CA Law to cover abortion as an essential service had never been taken this way previously, nor does either the Knox-Keene Act or CA Constitution mention what the DMH claim in regards to abortion. Their redefinition has violated fundamental rights of conscience and deeply…
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held belief. I do not believe it is coincidence that the DMH published their letter to Aetna less than 2 months after the Hobby Lobby case determined that the federal HHS could not force abortion coverage onto closely held organizations with religious convictions against abortion. Nor do I believe the DMH has legal ground in their redefinition of the 1975 CA Knox-Keene Act or the CA Constitution.
I watched Gov Brown at the installation of Bishop of Michael Barber of Oakland on EWTN. Bishop Barber overtly welcomed Brown to his installation.
Brown received Holy Communion.
What is our Church coming to ?
This is what happens when Bishops do not adhere to the Catechism of the Catholic Church;
and do not appropriately teach, correct, and when necessary discipline heretical and schismatic Catholics like Brown.
The heretics and schismatics just get worse. It confuses more uncatechized Catholics, to fall into mortal sin or leave because the Bishops have no principles and don’t seem to care.
I saw this, too, and was very, very distressed! Where is the honest preaching, to demand Confession first, and a public renouncing of former sinful actions and beliefs, as well as a formal, public embrace of Catholic teaching—- for evil men like Gov. Jerry Brown?? I have been told, since Vatican II, by Church leaders– that such people are all considered “friends,” and the Church wants to “include” them, and not “alienate” or “hurt” anyone, just consider that they have “different views!” Well– such people are actually ENEMIES OF JESUS CHRIST, out to KILL HIM, and His teachings!! HORRIBLE!! Our Church leaders all need to WAKE UP!! Even worse– for many long years, since Vatican II– these evil “Jesuit” schools, have been just exactly like Brown — rejecting Church teaching, and joining the hippie “Death Culture,” seeking to kill Catholicism and Christianity!! As they are such IMMORAL HERETICS, promoting all sexual sins, promiscuity, birth control, abortion, gay sex and gay “marriage,” etc.— they are not taken seriously, by anyone, including Brown– for their sudden demands to be viewed seriously, as “Catholic,” with “Catholic” beliefs, against abortion!
So are the Bishops going to continue partnering with the evil Federal Government for $63 MILLION in Federal Grants?
The dilemma is will the Obama Administration under Eric Holder enforce the law. My guess is that he will not. The Obama Administration has not problem with abortion for all nine months of fetal development.
As regards ‘comments’ posted here – Although the article discusses a 9th Circuit ‘Cox’ case – the ruling has potential national implications; not just for this message board – but the entire bought and paid for ‘free press’ (like the Singleton Propaganda empire, now ‘Digital First Media’ – who control so many different ‘outlets’- A.P., MediaNews, BANG…) as well:
“When should bloggers count as journalists in defamation suits?
…”The Gertz court did not expressly limit its holding to the defamation of institutional media defendants,” the appeals court panel wrote.
The judges quoted the Supreme Court’s 2010 campaign finance decision, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission: “We have consistently rejected the proposition that the institutional press has any constitutional privilege beyond that of other speakers.”
UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh, who represented Cox on appeal, agrees that a primary significance of the decision is treating institutional and noninstitutional media similarly.
“I think the view that the First Amendment applies equally to all who speak to the public has been generally accepted since the framing and has been important since,” Volokh explains.
“But it’s more true now that more people than ever before would be made into second-class citizens if the contrary view were adopted. And it’s harder than ever before to tell who is ‘institutional media’ and who is not.”
The appeals panel mentioned that the important “First Amendment touchstones” in defamation cases are whether the plaintiff is a public official or private person and whether the statements at issue address questions of public importance.
Hey gang, don’t despair. These Jesuit universities can self-insure by participating in the RETA trust in which most (if not all) California dioceses participate, along with other Catholic non-profit institutions. And the rates are reasonable since Church workers are generally a healthier lot than the secularists. We certainly did not have a 20%+ annual medical increase as was announced in the papers last week for California. I’m a pastor and I think the increase for medical benefits was a quarter of that for the new fiscal year with no change for deductibles.
Of course, if we end up reading that presidents of SCU and LMU sigh and grudgingly go along with paying for elective abortions, claiming that there is no alternative, then we know that a Cordileone-style fix is in.
Because you are such a defender of Truth, I never even dreamed that you could be a Pastor. How do you survive?
God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
May God have mercy on an amoral Amerika and His Church!
Viva Cristo Rey!
Kenneth M. Fisher
Sir: I use the nom de plume “FrMichael” as Michael refers to my Confirmation name, not my baptismal name. Even Google isn’t good at pulling those up! In any case, I am not known at the parish by that name. For conservative priests it is best to stay a little underground online. Happily there are lots of parishes in any given diocese, so there is a certain amount of freedom being in parish ministry. As long as your parishioners don’t have the habit of writing letters to the chancery, a lot of good can be done without close supervision.
You will not find a deeper well of Anti-Catholic Hatred – than that of the Misandry Machine in Academentia, How Hatred of Men & Boys, Masculinity & Normal Heterosexuality became the tenure track for highly rewarded ‘social science’ professors wallowing near the head of the tax trough, is a story both sad and sordid..
What is to be done about abusingt ‘Catholic’ Education by teaching Hatred for the Church and its Wise Moral Teachings – Should be a question answered by those ‘in charge’ to All, given the apparent Grave Heresy of this ‘professor’ (small ‘p’) at a ‘catholic’ (small ‘c) place of learning.
“California reverses position on health insurance abortion coverage
…On Friday, several Santa Clara University faculty members who have vehemently objected to university president Michael Engh’s handling of the issue expressed relief over the state’s decision to reverse.
“I’m very grateful to the Department of Managed Health Care for reaffirming a women’s right to choose,” said Nancy Unger, a professor of American History, who has consistently protested Engh’s decision.
“This is not just confirming and clarifying that this is a right we have, but by having comprehensive health insurance, it includes a woman’s right to have an abortion without any qualifiers,” said Unger, who is Catholic and whose health care insurance covers her 21-year-old daughter…
“PETE” is correct. The federal government corrupts the Catholic bishops (perhaps an oxymoron) by providing millions of dollars in federal grants in exchange for compliance with its policies and goals. The bishops do not really care much if some elective care is given; yes, they shout here and there but do not do that much, really. But, here is a chance to sue the State, and perhaps to force the federal government to withhold money to the State, instead. Nice move if it works. Remember, that it is also just as unconstitutional for the State to direct this as it is for the federal government to do so. The question is whether the USCCB or the CCC will do anything about it. There can be no going back; knock that supercilious smile off of the face of Ms. Parker (who may not be smiling so much when she gets the chance to speak with Jesus in eternity).
Do you think that Bishop Barber of Oakland will have a talk with his friend, Jerry Brown. The scene of Bishop Barber leaving the altar and approaching Jerry Brown at the Bishop’s installation mass in Oakland – to give him Holy communion is seared in my memory and left a very poor first impression of Bishop Barber. But I know he does not care what I think. What matters first and foremost to Bishop Barber is what his friend, Jerry Brown thinks. Brings to mind the old saying about the floor of hell being littered with the bones of priests and Bishops. Bishop Baker has to account to the Almighty for his actions – not me.
I never saw a comment in any Catholic newspaper or magazine about this.
Most of the American bishops have clearly demonstrated who they really serve, and it isn’t our crucified Savior.
They are more afraid of offending their political friends than they are of offending God!
God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
May God have mercy on an amoral Amerika and His Church!
Viva Cristo Rey!
Kenneth M. Fisher
This insane govenor has drank the obama kool-aid again…..besides this breech on religious freedom, he’s pushing abortion, he’s breaking federal laws by not securing our border……and I hear that to fund his proclaimed amnasty program our gas prices will increase once again……he’s got to get the money from some where, ya know. Our Bishops must excommunicate this heretic and stop drinking the kool-aid themselves.
The bishops of California are condoning Governor Jerry Brown’s anti-Catholic behavior by their silence!
CCC: ” 1853 Sins can be distinguished according to their objects, as can every human act; or according to the virtues they oppose, by excess or defect; or according to the commandments they violate.
They can also be classed according to whether they concern God, neighbor, or oneself; they can be divided into spiritual and carnal sins, or again as sins in thought, word, deed, or OMISSION.
The root of sin is in the heart of man, in his free will, according to the teaching of the Lord: “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a man.” But in the heart also resides charity, the source of the good and pure works, which sin wounds. ”
It is the CA Bishops job to accurately teach the Faith (as stated in the Bible and CCC).
Their silence regarding the mortal sins of Scandal, and Sacrilege, are mortal sins of omission.
Newman Society Releases Statement on New HHS Mandate Accommodation
8/28/14 By CNS Staff
The following official statement was released this week by The Cardinal Newman Society in response to the changes to the HHS mandate accommodation
The Obama administration’s latest attempt to force morally objectionable employee benefits upon America’s religious organizations—including the most faithful Catholic schools and colleges—in no way diminishes The Cardinal Newman Society’s strenuous opposition to this extreme violation of religious freedom.
We continue to depend on the courts to protect this freedom that is fundamental to all freedoms and cannot be justly violated by any government, no matter how zealous in its pursuit of other goals.
Clearly determined to avoid media scrutiny, the Obama administration fully revealed its latest action late in the afternoon on a quiet Friday in August…
– failing to address the most important objection: that the Obama administration continues to refuse exemption from the HHS Mandate to individual Americans, organizations and businesses for whom compliance with the HHS Mandate offends deeply held religious beliefs and moral principles.
This is particularly offensive when exemptions to the HHS Mandate—and even the Affordable Care Act (“ObamaCare”) itself—have been provided by the Administration for a wide array of American individuals, organizations and companies. Even Congress is exempt, as are several labor unions and other groups that generally have favorable ties to the Administration.
By contrast, the new proposed and interim final rules impact a much smaller population than those who are already exempted—a clear indication that the Obama administration is knowingly restricting the freedom of religious organizations, business owners, and other individuals who practice their faith in their daily lives and not only in worship.