California Governor Jerry Brown and his administration recently caved into requests from pro-abortion groups and reversed an earlier decision that allowed Santa Clara and Loyola Marymount universities to exclude coverage for “elective” abortions in their previously approved health insurance plans. Both schools are now being told to include coverage for all abortions.

“Abortion is a basic health care service” said the health department’s director, Michelle Rouillard. She said the exemptions violated a 1975 state law that required health plans to cover all services that were “medically necessary.” She did not say why electing to kill children in utero was “medically necessary.”

As part of the exemption both schools had already agreed to cover abortions when they were needed to save the life of the mother, or prevent serious health damage. Loyola Marymount even allowed employees to pay extra if they wished to have “elective” abortions included in their health insurance plans as well. But this was not enough to satisfy abortion-rights zealots.

Catholic universities have a right and a duty to uphold the tenets of their faith in everything they do. Paying for abortions is in direct conflict with the teachings of the Catholic Church. We can thank the Obama team for broaching this issue.

Not only is this decision morally obscene, it violates the religious liberties of Catholic institutions. The universities should now sue on First Amendment grounds. Perhaps a judge can educate the Brown administration on the need to keep church and state separate.

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