California to pay $1.4 million in attorneys’ fees after churches file successful lawsuits over abortion insurance coverage mandate

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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – California has agreed to pay $1.4 million in attorneys’ fees to lawyers representing four churches who successfully sued the state in arguing they should not have to cover abortion in their health insurance plans because that is contrary to their faith, the Christian Post (CP) reported on Tuesday.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta confirmed the agreement had been reached after the District Court for the Eastern District and the US District for the Southern District of California ruled that the plaintiffs Foothill Church, Calvary Chapel of Chino Hills, and Shepherd of the Hills Church had a First Amendment right to refuse abortion coverage in their healthcare plans.

Most of the payment will go to the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) conservative legal organization representing the churches, with some of the money going to local counsel, CP reports.

“The government can’t force a church or any other religious employer to violate their faith and conscience by participating in funding abortion,” ADF Senior Counsel Jeremiah Galus said in a statement on May 12.

“For years, California officials, in collaboration with Planned Parenthood, have unconstitutionally targeted faith-based organizations,” Galus added. “This is a significant victory for the churches we represent, the conscience rights of their members, and other religious organizations that shouldn’t be ordered by the government to violate some of their deepest faith convictions.”

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