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updated: 6/10/2020 5:52 PM

Religious freedom organization sues state over abortion mandate for insurers

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Daily Herald report

The Thomas More Society is suing the state to challenge a law requiring all health insurance policies sold in Illinois to provide coverage for elective chemical and surgical abortions, with no exemptions even for churches.

Filed in Sangamon County Circuit Court in Springfield on Wednesday, the suit alleges state government has violated the Illinois Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act in relation to the abortion insurance mandate. The case was filed on behalf of a Baptist church association, a dental practice and its owner, and a freight company and its owner.

In part, Gov. J.B. Pritzker and others are accused of refusing to protect the plaintiffs' "sincerely held religious beliefs," which forbid them from funding and providing coverage for elective abortions.

"Gov. Pritzker and his administration have run roughshod over the religious freedoms of Illinoisans, from shuttering churches during COVID-19, to forcing people of faith to pay for elective abortions," said Peter Breen, Thomas More's vice president and senior counsel

Thomas More, a religious freedom organization, previously became known in the suburbs for representing the group D211 Students and Parents for Privacy in its lawsuit against Palatine Schaumburg High School District 211 over its policy allowing transgender students to use locker rooms of the gender they identify as.