The pro-life law that was killed in California

Richard Doerflinger warns Obama administration’s interpretation of Weldon amendment may have a “frightening consequences”
Richard Doerflinger is a public policy fellow at the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Ethics and Culture. He served for 36 years as head of the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities for the U.S. bishops’ conference. In a July 6 essay for Public Discourse, Doerflinger discussed what he sees as serious threats to the Weldon Amendment. (photo from ethicscenter.nd.edu)

Richard Doerflinger served for 36 years as head of the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities for the U.S. bishops’ conference. In a July 6 essay for Public Discourse, Doerflinger discussed what he sees as serious threats to the Weldon Amendment. (photo from ethicscenter.nd.edu)

The following comes from a July 9 Angelus post:

Churches and other organizations in California will be forced to buy insurance plans that cover abortions due to the Obama administration’s clear misinterpretation of a pro-life law, said prominent pro-life thinker Richard Doerflinger.

In an essay, Doerflinger argued that the Obama administration “effectively overturned” the pro-life law when it failed to act against a California rule that required abortion coverage in churches’ health insurance policies – a rule that he said “egregiously violates” the Weldon Amendment.

In August 2014, California’s Department of Managed Health Care ruled that abortion coverage is mandatory in California health plans. The ruling drew several legal complaints from the Alliance Defending Freedom, the Life Legal Defense Foundation and the Catholic Bishops of California. They complained to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Human Rights that the rule violated the Weldon Amendment. Jocelyn Samuels, director of the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, rejected the complaints in a June 22 letter. She said the complaining entities were not “health care entities” opposed to abortion and said that the seven health insurance firms involved themselves have no objections to providing abortion coverage.

The Weldon Amendment has repeatedly been enacted without change by Congress when either major party has been in control. Doerflinger said the administration’s move contradicted President Barack Obama’s stated support for the amendment and his signing of the law every year since 2009.

“He and his administration have repeatedly assured Congress and pro-life Americans that they support the law and would fully enforce it through HHS’s Office for Civil Rights,” he said. “Those assurances have now proven empty.”

He emphasized that the Weldon amendment bars discrimination against a health plan that excludes abortion. The state policy forcing insurance companies to sell only health plans that include abortion is “the most obvious form of discrimination possible” against such plans.

Doerflinger recounted the Weldon Amendment’s basis in an earlier law, the 1996 Coats-Snow Amendment barring government discrimination against medical residents and residency programs that decline to train in abortion procedures. That amendment was intended to protect these programs regardless of whether they refused to train on religious, moral or practical grounds.

The Obama administration’s newly restrictive interpretation may have a “frightening consequence,” Doerflinger warned. It may start coercing residency programs that have no religious affiliation to begin requiring training in abortion. For Doerflinger, the president’s professed support for conscience laws means he should sign the Conscience Protection Act, proposed legislation that would address “the alleged ambiguities and loopholes the administration claims to find in the Weldon amendment.” “If the president supports federal conscience laws on abortion and wants them to be enforceable, as he has claimed, he need only say he would sign the Conscience Protection Act into law,” the pro-life leader wrote.

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Comments

  1. Tony de New York says:

    Welcome to the ‘Brave New World.”

  2. John Patrick says:

    Murder of infants is pushed by a so-called Catholic governor.

    • Anonymous says:

      he is not a catholic governor. he is a governor who just so happens to be catholic. YUUUGE difference.

  3. FromThePew says:

    Deliverance prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, please surround me and my family with a perimeter of Your Love and Protection throughout the day today a hundred yards in all directions, dear Lord. Render any demons that are there or should try to come, deaf, dumb and blind. Strip them of all weapons, illusions, armor, power and authority. Disable them from communicating or interacting in any way. Bind, sever, and separate them, sending them directly to the foot of Your Cross without manifestation or harm. May Your Precious Blood cover us, the Holy Spirit fill us, Mary’s mantle surround us, the Holy Angels and Saints guard and protect us from all unfortunate events.
    Continued…….

  4. FromThePew says:

    Continued…..too long to fit in one box. Rest of deliverance prayer:

    Protect us from fire, theft, flood, storms, ailments, accidents of every sort, distress, hardship, curse, and all untoward things. I ask all this in Your Name Lord Jesus and I thank and praise You. I love You. Alleluia. Amen!

    PS Delivery infants from unholy abortion, a curse on our nation, in the name of Jesus. Amen

  5. Michael McDermott says:

    A Win for Conscience in the House
    http://www.frc.org/updatearticle/20160714/win-conscience

    America’s heart is still beating, even in a culture of death. Yesterday showed the strength of pro-life movement when the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Conscience Protection Act… to stop government discrimination against pro-life Americans who object to being forced to participate in abortion.
    Only one day after the Republican Party’s platform committee adopted a plank protecting conscience rights, the House of Representatives stepped in to do the same. This bill was simple in that it would make permanent an annual appropriations rider called the Weldon Amendment which bars federal funds, including funds to states, if the…

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