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Contraceptive Equity Law Argued in NY’s Highest Court

The New York Court of Appeals heard a challenge to the Women’s Health and Wellness Act of 2003 (WHWA), New York’s law requiring prescription equity for women, on Wednesday. WHWA only provides exception to prescription coverage equity for religious organizations that serve their religious communities; charities run by religious organizations that serve the secular community must provide equity in prescription coverage. The organizations that challenged the law are a coalition of Catholic and Baptist charities that find the religious exception unconstitutionally narrow.

The law provides equitable insurance coverage for female employees working at organizations that provide prescription coverage. The law ensures that women are covered by their insurance for mammograms, osteoporosis tests, cervical cancer screenings, and contraceptives. Women without equitable insurance coverage pay about 68 percent more out-of-pocket for health care than men, according to the Albany Times-Union.

Sources:

Catholic Charities vs. Gregory V. Serio 9/06; Albany Times-Union 9/1/06, 9/7/06; Kaiser's Daily Women's Health Policy 9/8/06

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