The state Supreme Court has rejected a challenge by a Catholic missionary organization to decisions by state health regulators and an appeals court that voluntary abortions are “medically necessary” procedures that must be provided by health care service plans in California.
Regulations requiring the coverage, adopted by the California Department of Managed Health Care in 2014, were upheld in August by a state appeals court in Sacramento. The court said the choice a pregnant woman makes — to give birth or have an abortion — must be considered “medically necessary.”
The regulations had been challenged in a lawsuit by Missionary Guadalupanas of the Holy Spirit, an organization of Catholic women. They did not appeal the August ruling but asked the state Supreme Court to withdraw it as a published decision that is binding on trial courts statewide. The court unanimously refused on Nov. 20….
In past years, the [Department of Managed Health Care] had approved some health plans covering only abortions that were necessary to save a woman’s life. But in 2014 the department, under then-Gov. Jerry Brown, said it had misinterpreted the law and would require coverage of all abortions. It sent letters to seven major plans directing them to remove any language from their contracts that “may discriminate against women by limiting or excluding coverage for termination of pregnancies.”
The above comes from a Nov. 20 story in the San Francisco Chronicle.