supreme%20court.jpgOn Monday the Supreme Court declined to consider the appeal of a lower court ruling uphodling a 2002 New York state law forcing some religious employers to cover contraceptives in their health insurance drug plans, which violated their religious beliefs.
Four points on this….

1. The groups suing, which included Baptists, Catholics, Orthodox Jews, and Seventh Day Adventists, correctly argued, as quoted by the Associated Press:

If the state can compel church entities to subsidize contraceptives in violation of their religious beliefs, it can compel them to subsidize abortions as well…. And if it can compel church entities to subsidize abortions, it can require hospitals owned by churches to provide them.

2. As a DC pro-lifer involved in public policy emailed:

The very existence of this case underscores the urgent need to break the link between health insurance and employment. If we all were able to buy our own health insurance, we could group together according to our moral principles. If the Knights of Columbus, for instance, were able to sell health insurance as they now sell life insurance, then Catholics would be able to own health insurance that did not violate their conscience. Ditto for Mormons, Southern Baptists, Muslims, and so forth.

Are you aware that 46% of workers in employer-sponsored health insurance plans are in plans which cover abortion? Those people are subsidizing abortion – against their will, and probably without their knowledge.

I know that health insurance reform seems to be a long way from the life issue. But it is intimately connected to it. Everything we care about in the life battles connects sooner or later with health insurance reform.

If you want to reform health care, you have to reform health insurance. If you want to reform health insurance, you have to reform the federal tax code. That’s because when your employer buys your health insurance neither he nor you pay any tax on it – but your employer owns it and you have no choice about it. But the federal tax code is the reason individuals can not afford to buy their own health insurance.

That must change, or there can be no freedom of conscience in health insurance. So when you hear about “conservatives” wanting to create a personal health care tax credit, please understand that this is a very pro-life initiative as well as a “conservative” one.

supremes.jpg3. Is this over? Two points of view. Arguing yes, as quoted by the AP:

“We thought the addition of Roberts and Alito and the fact that we included churches would make a difference. It didn’t. I think the battle has been fought and lost,” said Dennis Poust, spokesman for the New York State Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of the state’s Catholic bishops.

Arguing no:

“The Supreme Court likes to have issues percolate for a while at the lower courts. They also look for the best vehicle to address a specific issue. This very well could end up at the Supreme Court,” said [Jordan] Lorence [attorney for the Alliance Defense Fund].

My pro-life public policy email friend also thought no:

I think (hope?) they’re biding their time for a better case, at the right time… in which they can accomplish something definitive.
I’m glad they didn’t get into this and end up with a half-baked decision that did as much harm as good.

4. To date, 23 states have passed laws forcing employers to cover birth control pills. Who is behind the push? Planned Parenthood, which makes a ton of easy money from selling contraceptives, made all that easier by submitting claims to insurance companies. An AP article quoted the JoAnn Smith, president of Family Planning Advocates of New York State:

“Every state court that has heard this case has affirmed that the law helps to provide access to basic health care. Today’s decision by the Supreme Court not to consider the case protects the religious freedom of women and families.”

FPA is a PP lobby group.

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