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Policy: Entitlements

California government forces Catholic colleges and insurers to cover elective abortion

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Timothy P. Carney,California,Health Care,Abortion,Entitlements,Catholicism,Contraception

In California, it's now illegal for an employer to provide health insurance as a benefit unless that insurance covers the costs of elective abortions. This isn't even an act of the legislature — it's a ruling by a state regulatory body.

Two Catholic colleges announced that the insurance plan they were providing their employees would not cover elective abortion. (I infer from the news stories that they would cover abortion needed to save the life of the mother.) The state's Department of Managed Health Care had given the OK to these insurance plans.

But now the department has reversed its position, the AP reports. California requires employer-sponsored plans to cover all "medically necessary" care, and the DMHC has decided that elective abortion is a medical necessity.

These are the contours of the culture war today: The Left uses the power of the government to force pro-lifers to pay for abortion. The Left is imposing its morality on everyone.

Abortion supporters, employing the same abuse of language they use when discussing the contraceptive mandate, argue that the colleges that don't want to subsidize their employees' elective abortions "will deny faculty, staff, and administrators seeking abortions coverage of the procedure ..." as one group, RH Reality Check, put it.

Employees of the college, of course, are perfectly free to buy their own abortion coverage or to pay out of pocket to abort their unborn children, making RH Reality Check's claim nonsense. The AP doesn't quite repeat the abortion lobby's misstatements, but they seem to go out of their way to obscure that California now has an abortion-insurance mandate.

The Huffington Post's headline on the AP article engages in clumsy passive voice and leaves out the Catholic colleges part: "Abortions Must Be Covered By Health Insurance Companies In California."

The lede deploys a double negative: "Health insurance companies in California may not refuse to cover the cost of abortion ..."

And the best irony of the story is the "Stand Up for Choice" sign that illustrates the article. The side that favors legal abortion, of course, is not the side that favors choice here.

The colleges, of course, are taking the case to court.

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