D.C. Bill That Would Allow For Insurance Coverage of Abortions Faces Uncertain Future

Conservative groups are riled over the D.C. Council’s passage of a new anti-discrimination law they say would illegally require organizations to provide insurance coverage of abortions and other reproductive health care procedures regardless of whether they violate the organizations’ religious beliefs.

Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian legal group, is asking Mayor Vincent C. Gray to veto the bill passed last week on grounds that even he recognized the bill might violate protections afforded under the Constitution and the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

ADF senior counsel Casey Mattox said he interprets the language of the bill to mean that organizations would have to include coverage of reproductive health care drugs and procedures like birth control pills or elective abortions even if an organization is religiously opposed to such procedures. He expects ADF would likely sue the city if the law is allowed to take effect.