Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento Requests Review of State Law Mandating Coverage of Contraception Under Some Health Plans
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento and its Catholic Charities affiliate on Friday filed papers requesting that the U.S. Supreme Court review a state law that requires employers to include contraceptive coverage in health plans that cover other prescription drugs, the Sacramento Bee reports (Walsh, Sacramento Bee, 6/2). The law exempts religious employers opposed to contraception but only applies to those employers whose primary goal is to promote religious beliefs and who primarily hire and serve like-minded people. In March, the California Supreme Court ruled 6-1 that Catholic Charities cannot be exempt from the law because the organization is not a religious employer, provides services to people of various religions and does not directly espouse Roman Catholic doctrine. The ruling applies to Catholic Charities' 1,600 employees statewide and to the 52,000 employees of Catholic hospitals in California (California Healthline, 3/2). Four of the nine justices must vote in favor of a review before the case can be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. A decision likely will come in the fall, when the court begins a new term, the Bee reports (Sacramento Bee, 6/2).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.