Printer Friendly

Bishops in New York sue over new medical insurance law. (Catholic Health Care).

THE CATHOLIC BISHOPS' conference in New York has sued the state over a new law that requires health insurance policies that cover prescriptions to also cover Food and Drug Administration approved prescription contraception and other women's health services including mammograms from age 40, osteoporosis treatments and a statewide breast cancer detection program. The bishops claim that the law will force Catholic institutions to go against church teachings that oppose the use of contraception. The new law came into force January 1, 2003.

The bishops had lobbied to force a broad exemption for Catholic institutions. The law does provide some employers with an exemption, but only if their primary function is religious, and that most of the people they employ and serve share their religion.

New York is the 20th state since 1998 to require that employers treat contraceptives just as they do other prescription drugs in their health insurance plans. Nine of the 20 have broad exemptions for religious institutions, and five have none. The remaining six states, including New York and California, exempt only institutions whose primary purpose is teaching religious values, such as seminaries and churches. A similar lawsuit in California is pending before California's Supreme Court.

In California, CFFC lead a coalition of progressive groups that filed an amici curiae brief in a similar case before the state Supreme Court. Catholic Charities of California has sued the state, charging that the 2000 Women's Contraceptive Equity Law does not allow adequate exemptions for religious organizations. The brief shows that Catholic Charities is not a religious employer; that Catholics may and do dissent from Catholic teachings on contraception and many Catholic hospitals and insurance companies implement strategies that uphold Catholic theology and provide contraception; and that there is no basis in Catholic theology for any contraceptive ban to be applied to non-Catholics (which would be the result of exempting Catholic Charities from the law). The case is pending.
COPYRIGHT 2003 Catholics for a Free Choice
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2003, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Mar 22, 2003
Previous Article:Catholic groups protest Novak's visit to Rome. (The Church and State).
Next Article:Nicaraguan bishops fail in attempts to force 9-year-old to give birth. (In Catholic Circles).

Related Articles
BAD MEDICINE: when Catholic and non-Catholic hospitals merge, women's health care services often get excommunicated.
The sexual abuse crisis. (In Catholic Circles).
Catholic bishops fight N.Y. law on birth control. (Around The States).
A meeting of the miters: US bishops rattle their swords against prochoice Catholic politicians and Catholics who use birth control.
Storm clouds gathering: while the number of mergers wanes, the threats from the catholic hierarchy to reproductive health care continue.
An inconceivable argument: does a law ensuring equal access to prescription drugs mean that the catholic hierarchy will become morally complicit in...
Prescriptions denied: pharmacy refusal clauses have become the latest battleground in the provision of safe and legal medical services.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters