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Barb Wire

Why a Nurse and a Pastor Object to Being Forced to Help Abort Babies

A pastor and a nurse want Congress to pass legislation that would allow Americans the freedom to opt out of the abortion process.

By Leah Jessen

Chris Lewis, lead pastor of Foothill Church in Glendora, California, says his congregation doesn’t want to be coerced into covering abortions on employee health insurance plans.

But that is exactly what the state of California is doing, Lewis told The Daily Signal in a phone interview.

Lewis said it is “shocking” that the state Department of Managed Health Care would force his 1,000-member church, against its deeply held religious convictions, to cover abortion in the health plans of roughly 100 employees.

“We’re stuck in this horrible place,” Lewis told The Daily Signal. “We’re essentially being coerced by the state to violate our conscience.”

“We don’t want to have to cover [abortion],” he said.

Lewis spoke on Capitol Hill at a House forum in July on conscience rights, urging Congress to pass the Conscience Protection Act.

Among about eight others who spoke was a nurse of 26 years, Fe Esperanza Racpan Vinoya.

“I became a nurse to help people, but not to do harm,” Vinoya said.

In 2014, the state of California issued an order requiring all health insurance plans to cover abortion, without a religious exemption.

Lewis said he and his congregation believe life begins at conception, and covering abortions on employee health plans violates the church’s core tenets.

“I can’t believe that we as a church, with this fundamentally, deeply held conviction of ours, can be put in a position to violate our conscience like this,” Lewis said. “We felt like we were over a barrel.”

Read more: The Daily Signal


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