Albany Diocese Lawsuit Challenges Abortion Coverage Requirement
The Diocese of Albany is one of 13 plaintiffs suing the New York State Department of Financial Services over the requirement that employer health plans cover abortion in several circumstances, the New York Law Journal reports. In a complaint filed May 4, the group claimed that “the notion of a church institution providing its employees, regardless of their particular religious affiliation, with health insurance coverage for abortion, is morally unacceptable as a matter of religious and moral conviction,” according to the Associated Press. The multireligious coalition of dioceses and churches also included a private construction business and a woman who works for a religious organization.
Diocesan spokeswoman Mary DeTurris Poust told Local Time Warner Cable (TWC) News that the plaintiffs were concerned that they might have already covered abortions, as they were unaware when the requirement went into effect in 2015. She explained that as employers, “[w]e would never know what an employee is doing” because of health privacy laws.
TWC also reported on a statement from Tara Sweeney of the National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund: “New York has always been a leader on making sure abortion is accessible, and part and parcel to that accessibility is insurance coverage.”