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Supreme Court refuses Catholic charities case.

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to review a California court ruling that upheld a state law requiring religiously affiliated employers who provide prescription drug coverage to include birth control for women.

On Oct. 4, the high court refused to review a ruling that upheld a California law that requires employers, except churches, to pay for health benefits that also cover birth control.

Catholic Charities of Sacramento had challenged the law arguing that it violated the free exercise of religion by requiring it to subsidize contraceptives in violation of church teachings. The California Supreme Court ruled in March that the state law was a valid anti-discrimination measure that didn't interfere with religious beliefs or practices. (Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed a friend-of-the court brief with the California Supreme Court arguing that it should uphold the state law.)

A church-affiliated charity remains "free to express its disapproval of prescription contraceptives and to encourage its employees not to use them" provided they treat all their employees equally, the California Supreme Court ruled in Catholic Charities v. California.

The Associated Press reported that besides California, states that have similar laws include Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Georgia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont and Washington.
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Title Annotation:In The Capital
Publication:Church & State
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2004
Words:219
Previous Article:High court agrees to hear Commandments, prisoner cases.
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