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

Here’s who’s running for election in Renton

Candidates had till Friday to file for multiple local electioins

Former First Financial Northwest Bank CEO sentenced for tax fraud

The former CEO and President, Victor Karpiak, hid $2.3 million of income on tax returns from 2010 to 2016.

A design of Yene Boona Café and Roaster House, an Ethiopian coffee shop and roaster. The proposal estimates the project would cost $450,000.
                                Courtesy photo City of Renton
The grand versus the modest – Coffee shop or Plaza for the Old Chamber Building

City Council receives two different proposals for location near the airport

Courtesy photo Amazing Animals.
It’s not Broadway, but it is musical cats

Rescue cats are coming to Renton; not to homes, but to the… Continue reading

Renton’s Leisure Estates, a mobile home park for people over 55, hosted Hollywood comedy writer and producer Sy Rosen on May 4 for a screening of his short film The Matchmaker. Left to right: Ellen Ginn, Linda Keeney, Linda Clauson, Sy Rosen, Eileen Cunio, Darlene Ward, Pat Diggs.
                                Photo courtesy of Northwest Prime Time.
Comedy short-film premiers in Renton mobile home park

Leisure Care Estate residents win contest to host special event

Hazen junior Emily Blundred, team captain and project manager for the Hazen robotics team, was a finalist for the National Robotics Dean’s List. Blundred was able to attend the championship this year in Houston, Texas. Courtesy photo Emily Blundred
Hazen student uses her passion to make room for girls in STEM

Emily Blundred earns special honors through her work with the school’s robotic team

Renton City Council looks to move faster on sidewalk improvements

Almost half of Renton’s streets still don’t have pedestrian paths

School board member Lynn Desmarais announced she will leave her position after this term, leaving an open school board seat this election season. Photo courtesy of the Renton School District.
Long-time school board director ready to hang up hat after December

Lynn Desmarais reflects on 18 years of school advocacy

The Williams Avenue bridge is one of the local bridges facing new weight restrictions for heavy trucks and emergency response vehicles, including fire ladder trucks.
                                Photo by Haley Ausbun.
New bridge restrictions limit Renton firetrucks

City considers alternatives for emergency vehicles near North Renton

Most Read