Supreme Court Refuses Catholic Charities Case

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

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

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

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

The Associated Press reported that besides California, states that have similar\n laws include Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Georgia, Hawaii,\n Maine, Maryland, Massa­chusetts, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico,\n New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont and Washington.