By Jeremy White

A California skirmish in a national clash over religious objections to health care coverage flared on Wednesday, with a Catholic group challenging a policy requiring abortion coverage.

A letter from the California Catholic Conference to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services assailed a California Department of Managed Health Care directive instructing seven major insurance companies that they must cover voluntary abortions because the procedure constitutes basic health care.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights said the organization is reviewing the complaint.

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