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California Catholic-Affiliated Charity Must Provide Contraceptive Coverage

A California appellate court ruled yesterday that Catholic Charities, an affiliated social services organization of the church, must provide contraceptive coverage for its female employees if it offers other prescriptive coverage. This judgment upholds the constitutionality of a 1999 state law mandating employers with prescription plans to provide contraception.

The presiding justice of the Court of Appeals said that Catholic Charities was discriminating against women by not offering contraceptive coverage under their prescription drugs plan. The Court also dismissed Catholic Charities claim that providing contraceptive coverage prevented them from maintaining the stance that contraception constitutes a “sin.”

In June, a U.S. District Court in D.C. decided the first case of this kind, mandating contraceptive coverage for female employees of Bartell drug company. For information on this case, see the Feminist Daily News, June 13, 2001.

Sources:

San Francisco Chronicle - July 3, 2001

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