California Requires Insurers To Provide Abortion Coverage
On Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown announced the enforcement of a 1975 state law.
San Jose Mercury News: California Reverses Position On Health Insurance Abortion Coverage
Spurred by faculty and staff outrage over the refusal by two Catholic universities to pay for elective abortions, Gov. Jerry Brown's administration on Friday announced that health insurance companies in the state can no longer deny coverage for these procedures. California's Department of Managed Health Care, which oversees HMOs, issued letters to seven insurance companies saying refusing to pay for any abortion, whether medically necessary or not, violates the state constitution and a 1975 state law (Seipel, 8/22).
The Associated Press: California: Insurers Must Cover Elective Abortions
Jesuit-run Santa Clara University and Loyola Marymount University notified employees last fall that they planned to stop paying for elective abortions, but said faculty and staff members could pay for supplemental coverage that would be provided through a third party. The two schools said their insurers, Anthem Blue Cross and Kaiser Permanente, had cleared the move with the state. University employees who objected to the decision and abortion-rights groups lobbied the women' caucus of the California Legislature, which in turn asked Gov. Jerry Brown to clarify and reverse the health care department's determination (8/23).
San Francisco Chronicle: Abortion Foes Threaten Suit That May Cut State's Federal Funds
Both universities issued statements saying they would follow the law, but they did not disavow future court action. ... But Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, called the state's action "morally obscene" and said the universities should file religious-freedom suits. And other organizations that oppose abortion said California is violating an antiabortion provision of federal law and is at risk of losing much of its federal funding (Egelko, 8/24).