A lawsuit filed June 10 challenges an Illinois law requiring that health insurance policies sold in the state provide coverage for elective chemical and surgical abortions, with no exemptions even for churches. The suit, filed by theThomas More Society, includes the Illinois Baptist State Association in its lists of plaintiffs.
“The Illinois State Baptist Association provides health coverage and pregnancy-related benefits through a third-party insurer to our employees,” said IBSA Executive Director Nate Adams. “Compelling the Association to provide and pay for coverage of abortion is a violation of the Illinois Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act.
“This Association cannot morally participate in the funding of abortion—which we declare to be in conflict with our deeply held beliefs. The State of Illinois is forcing us to do that and that is illegal.”
The lawsuit, which also includes a dental practice and a freight company, seeks judicial review of the abortion coverage mandate, Thomas More Society said in a statement June 10. It asks the court to declare the mandate unlawful, and for an injunction that would prohibit the state from enforcing the requirements against the employers and their health insurance providers.
“The United States Supreme Court has repeatedly condemned this sort of government coercion against people of faith, including in the 2014 Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. decision,” said senior counsel Peter Breen. “Illinois law protects the sincerely held beliefs of our state’s nonprofits and businesses, but our state’s politicians and bureaucrats have sat silent in response to the conscientious objections of people of faith to paying for elective abortions.”