KIRKLAND, Wash. — A church in Washington State has filed suit to challenge a law that requires insurance plans that cover maternity care to “also provide a covered person with substantially equivalent coverage to permit the abortion of a pregnancy.”
Cedar Park Assembly of God, a fellowship with more than 600 members, says that Senate Bill 6219, signed by Gov. Jay Inslee last year, does not exempt churches or religious organizations from the requirement and therefore creates an impermissible burden on the freedom of religion.
“The requirement that Cedar Park provide coverage for abortion and abortifacient contraceptives violates its sincerely held religious beliefs,” the suit, filed by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), states.
“Cedar Park’s deeply held religious belief is that abortion is the ending of a human life, and is a grave sin. Therefore, in furtherance of such beliefs, Cedar Park does not provide coverage for abortion or abortifacient contraceptives in its employee health insurance plan,” the complaint outlines.
The church operates a plethora of ministries and businesses to serve the community, including a Christian school that serves 1,000 children, a funeral home, an auto repair shop, a counseling program and a university-level ministry training program. It requires employees to live by biblical standards, and mandates workers to sign a document agreeing to follow these standards.
“Cedar Park employees must conduct their professional and personal lives in a manner that provides clear evidence of a Christian life and character that commends the gospel, strengthens the Church and honors God,” the standards state
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