Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Tuesday good news blogging

My friend, MadPriest (over at Of Course I Could Be Wrong...) sent me an article entitled "Ruling finds diocese not 'religious employer' in contraception/insurance case". He claimed it was because I'm more into "wimmin's issues" than he is! :-)

Here's part of what it says:

New York state's highest court Thursday said religious groups, including the Albany, N.Y., Roman Catholic Diocese, must abide by a state law requiring that health insurance policies in New York cover contraception.

The Court of Appeals ruled from Albany that the constitutional rights of the groups are not violated by the Women's Health and Wellness Act of 2002.

The court said in a 6-0 decision that although the groups challenging the law are religiously based, they are not "religious employers" under an exemption written into the law.

"None of the plaintiffs qualifies a 'religious employer' under the WHWA," the court said. "This is essentially because plaintiffs are not, or are not only, churches ministering to the faithful, but are providers of social and educational services."

The judges also said that factoring into their reasoning was the fact that the religious groups bringing the suit said they hired people of various faiths and not only those believing in the tenets of their faith.

"It is also important, in our view, that many of plaintiffs' employees do not share their religious beliefs," the court said.

This is important on a number of levels. One, of course, is the issue of women's health and the obligation of the Church to obey the law. But we also need to realize that the anti-choice people are now going after contraception. And this is not just Roman Catholics. Fundamentalist protestants are now taking up the cause. Those of us who support reproductive choice and freedom need to be ever vigilant and active in protecting women's rights in this regard.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12:04 PM

    I wonder if this will eventually impact Catholic hospitals who will not cover birth control pills under their insurance plans for employees?


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