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Contraceptive coverage required.

MILWAUKEE, Wis. -- Wisconsin employers who offer prescription drug coverage through health care plans must pay for contraceptives, said the state attorney general in an opinion issued Aug. 17. While the opinion does not have the power of law, observers say it could be used as a legal precedent for civil lawsuits.

In response to a query from the state Department of Health and Family Services, Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager wrote that exclusion of such coverage violates federal and state laws, including the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act, and jeopardizes women's access to equal health care. Among other cases, the opinion cites a 2003 ruling by the California State Supreme Court in a case against Catholic Charities.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the insurance plan for the Milwaukee archdiocese does not cover contraception if it is used to prevent pregnancy. The archdiocese had no response to the attorney general's legal opinion.
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Title Annotation:U.S. Briefs
Author:Coday, Dennis
Publication:National Catholic Reporter
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U3WI
Date:Sep 10, 2004
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