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New York court upholds decision favoring women's rights.

IN A DECISION SIMILAR TO a 2004 California ruling involving Catholic Charities, the New York state Court of Appeals--the state's highest court--ruled 6-0 that religious and other health-insurance providers that cover prescription drugs must also include contraceptive coverage.

Ten organizations--eight Catholic and two Baptist--had challenged New York's 2002 Women's Health and Wellness Act, claiming that upholding the law would require them to violate church teachings and requesting an exemption for religious schools, hospitals and social service organizations. The court upheld an exemption in the law that extended only to organizations that "primarily" employ and serve members of the same faith, not those that employ and serve people from diverse faiths.

The state Catholic Conference said it was considering an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court which after the 2004 California case denied an appeal.

According to the New York Times, the New York court cited a study showing that women paid 68 percent more than men in out-of-pocket expenses for health care and that the discrepancy resulted mainly from the cost of reproductive health services.
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Title Annotation:Catholic Health Care
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Mar 22, 2007
Previous Article:U.S. Bishops reiterate ban on contraception.
Next Article:Catholic hospital in Illinois loses tax-exempt status.

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