LOS ANGELES, Feb 6 (LSN) – Last week the California State Assembly approved legislation which forces all employee insurance plans to cover contraceptives and abortifacient pills and devices such as the I.U.D. The bill (AB 160), sponsored by Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC), was put forward by Assemblyman Robert Hertzberg. Providentially, proceedings have been interrupted, as California Governor Pete Wilson has demanded an amendment to give employers the ability to opt out if they object to covering contraceptives and abortifacients on religious or moral grounds. Hertzberg has refused consent to the amendment, arguing that “It would have cut the heart out of the bill.” Kathy Kneer, chief executive officer of PPAC, said “Allowing employers to superimpose their religious beliefs on employees’ health benefit packages . . . is very troubling and would set a dangerous precedent.” Ned Dolejsi, executive director of the California Catholic Conference, which represents 1,160 churches and 707 schools throughout California, said, “This (legislation) is in the interest of people who believe strongly in reproductive rights (who want) to force everyone to comply with their particular philosophy.” In an apparently successful lobbying effort last month, Dolejsi wrote a letter to Wilson suggesting a “conscience clause” for the legislation. Wilson has until Feb. 11 to act on the bill.