Imagine this scenario:
Your church believes in the sanctity of life and that abortion is a sin.
Your church employs more than 50 persons and therefore must provide health insurance to its employees as required by the federal Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.
Your state passes a law that requires any health insurance plan to cover abortions if the plan also covers maternity care, which your church’s policy does. The law contains numerous exemptions, but none for religious organizations.
Result: Your state government has found a way to force your church to violate its deepest beliefs and promote abortions among church employees, all paid for with the tithes and offerings of your church’s members.
Of course, if you don’t want to provide abortion coverage, your church could avoid that mandate by choosing not to provide health insurance for maternity care for employees, leaving new parents to pay for their babies on their own.
Unfortunately, the scenario is not theoretical. It is the current situation for Cedar Park Assembly of God of Kirkland, Washington (Cedar Park) which found itself painted into a corner by a 2018 state law passed by a state government that has proven its hostility to Christians in a variety of ways over the years. (Remember Barronelle Stutzman? Storman’s Pharmacy?)
Cedar Park recently filed a lawsuit against the state of Washington with the help of its attorneys at Alliance Defending Freedom. The lawsuit alleges that the “no-win” scenario the state has created for it violates its First Amendment right of freedom of religion and its Fourteenth Amendment right to equal protection of the laws. It also alleges that the hostility displayed by the state in targeting this law to religious organizations violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
On that latter point about state hostility toward religion, Cedar Park alleges that the Washington Legislature worked closely with Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice Washington to draft, promote, pass and implement the law. This law does not “coincidentally” affect religious organizations. They are its intended targets.
Please keep Cedar Park in your prayers as this lawsuit advances. You can be sure Planned Parenthood and liberal legislatures around the country will be keeping their eyes on the success or failure of this new law.