Jerry Brown, the Democratic Governor of California, is an arch-liberal. But he doesn’t let his political ideology trump his principles, among which is a concern for civil liberties. Brown vetoed a bill passed by the state legislature that would force religious institutions to go against their pro-life convictions. So now pro-abortionists are demonizing him.
Here is what happened: Assembly Bill 569, would make it illegal for California employers to discipline or fire employees for “their reproductive health decisions, including, but not limited to, the timing thereof, or the use of any drug, device, or medical service.”
The Bill explicitly applies to religious institutions. It attempts to meet minimal federal religious liberty standards by exempting religious ministers, defined very narrowly. The legislation includes this language:
“The Legislature agrees with the concurring opinion of Justice Alito in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. E.E.O.C. (2012) 565 U.S. 171, 199, which argues that the ministerial exception should apply only to an ‘employee who leads a religious organization, conducts worship services or important religious ceremonies or rituals, or serves as a messenger or teacher of its faith.’ ”
But under the new law, an LCMS school could not dismiss a teacher for getting an abortion. A Catholic hospital could not remove a female doctor if she had an abortion.
So Gov. Brown vetoed the bill. He said that an existing law prevents employers from discrimination based on a woman’s “reproductive health decisions.” But it exempts religious institutions.
So pro-abortionists are condemning Gov. Brown. The National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), one of the sponsors of the legislation, issued a statement saying, in part,
We need reproductive freedom and economic security to live our best lives, and we can’t have one without the other. With Trump and his anti-choice cronies attacking reproductive freedom at every turn, California has a duty to protect access to reproductive health care. Governor Brown had every opportunity to work with us on this bill to address his concerns. With this veto, Governor Brown failed women in California and around the country.
We see here the mark of radicalism: It isn’t enough for Gov. Brown to support abortion, which he does. He has to support abortion without any limitations and without allowing anyone else to act on their pro-life convictions. Otherwise, he has “failed women.”
Moreover, it appears that the pro-abortion radicals are specifically targeting religious institutions, wanting laws to force them to violate their pro-life convictions.
Photo of Jerry Brown by Neon Tommy (originally posted to Flickr as Jerry Brown) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons