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Regulation and Compliance > State Regulation

High Court Declines To Hear Birth Control Mandate Case

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The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to consider an appeal by nonprofit religious organizations that object to a New York state contraceptive benefits mandate.

The court denied certiorari to the plaintiffs, including Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany, N.Y., other Christian groups and Orthodox Jewish groups.

The plaintiffs are appealing an October 2006 New York state appeals court ruling Catholic Charities et al. vs. Dinallo.

The plaintiffs filed the suit to object to a 2002 New York law that requires state-regulated employer-sponsored health plans that offer prescription benefits to pay for birth control pills.

The law includes an exception for churches and seminaries, but New York says the law does apply to social service organizations.

The plaintiffs have argued that permitting states to impose contraceptive mandates on religious employers could permit states to impose abortion benefits mandates on religious employers.

The New York appeals court upheld the state contraceptive benefits mandate.

The court held that the religious organizations that filed the suit were more like social service organizations than they were like churches.


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