Eastside church sues state on International Women’s Day to overturn abortion coverage

The lawsuit was filed by the Alliance Defending Freedom, which is classified as a hate group by Southern Poverty Law Center

Cedar Park Assembly of God church in Bothell has sued the state of Washington on International Women’s Day in an attempt to overturn a state law mandating all insurance that covers maternity coverage also cover abortion care.

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court Western District of Washington in Tacoma by the Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian-based organization that has been classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The suit seeks an injunction from the court to allow the church to stop providing coverage for abortion under its employee health insurance. SB 6219 was signed into law in 2018 and mandates employers provide coverage for reproductive health, including abortions.

“Washington’s attack on people of faith is intentional. It represents the kind of deliberate religious persecution that our country was founded to prevent,” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit names Washington’s Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler and Gov. Jay Inslee as defendants in its complaint. The lawsuit said it would cost the church around $243,000 in additional costs to become self-insured. Cedar Park employs around 185 people who are eligible for health insurance, according to the lawsuit.

Kreidler sent the following comment to this news organization in an email on Friday:

“I can’t speak to the merits of the lawsuit at this time until we’ve officially been served and had time to review the case,” Kreidler said. “Washington state does have a conscience clause that protects religious freedom and we have always respected that law. We do know the organization that is behind this suit — The Alliance Defending Freedom — and it has predominantly worked on denying women the right to choose.”

The Alliance Defending Freedom is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and has supported re-criminalizing homosexuality in the U.S. and abroad, and has also defended state-sanctioned sterilization of trans people outside of the U.S.

Cedar Park itself has given tens of thousands of dollars fighting gay marriage in 2012 and the anti-trans “bathroom bills.”

This report will be updated as more information becomes available.

More in News

Matt Marshall, leader of the Washington Three Percenters gun rights group, addresses a crowd rallying for Second Amendment rights Jan. 17 at the state Capitol in Olympia. Marshall condemned Republican leadership in the House of Representatives, which expelled Rep. Matt Shea from the Republican Caucus. Marshall announced his candidacy for the 2nd District seat held by House Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox. Photo by Cameron Sheppard, WNPA News Service
Gun rights advocates rally at Capitol

Criticism levied at Matt Shea investigation, Republican leadership.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson (center) announced a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson in a press conference Jan. 2. Debbie Warfield of Everett (left) lost her son to a heroin overdose in 2012. Skagit County Commissioner Lisa Janicki (right) lost her son to an overdose of OxyContin in 2017. They are joined by Rep. Lauren Davis of Shoreline (second from right), founder of the Washington Recovery Alliance. (TVW screenshot)
AG Bob Ferguson talks lawsuits, gun control

Washington state Attorney General stopped by Sound Publishing’s Kirkland office.

Development has encroached on the East Lake Sammamish Trail (at right). Joe Livarchik/file photo
King County files lawsuit to finish East Lake Sammamish Trail

Homeowners have until September to remove buildings and other property from the right of way.

Bellevue residents Marko and Karla Ilicic play a hockey game in the Topgolf Swing Suite inside Forum Social House. Natalie DeFord/staff photo
Forum Social House opens in Bellevue

Eastside gets new nightclub, mini golf, swing suites.

In November 2019, Washington voters approved Initiative 976, which calls for $30 car tabs. Sound Publishing file photo
Republicans try to guarantee $30 car tabs amid court hangup

Lawmakers sponsor companion bills in the House and Senate.

Courtesy photos
                                New Carnation city councilmembers Tim Harris and Adair Hawkins.
Carnation council swears in for new biennium

New members, leadership appointments.

North Bend swore in its new mayor and new council members at its Jan. 7, 2020 meeting. From left: King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert, North Bend council members Mary Miller, Chris Garcia, Ross Loudenback, Mayor Pro Tem Brenden Elwood, North Bend Mayor Rob McFarland, council members Alan Gothelf and Heather Koellen.
North Bend swears in new mayor, council

McFarland, Koellen, Miller join the table.

King County Metro’s battery-electric bus. Photo courtesy of kingcounty.gov
King County could bump up Metro electrification deadlines

Transportation generates nearly half of all greenhouse gas emissions in the state.

Gov. Jay Inslee delivered his 2020 State of the State Address on Tuesday, Jan. 14. (Photo courtesy of Washington State Office of the Governor)
Gov. Inslee delivers State of the State Address

By Leona Vaughn, WNPA News Service OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee stood… Continue reading

Most Read