N.Y. companies still have to cover contraceptives

Appeals court rejects Catholic groups' challenge to the state's contraception law.

Published January 13, 2006 2:00PM (EST)

Here's a little snippet of sanity from the great state of New York: A midlevel appeals court on Thursday rejected several Roman Catholic groups' attempt to overturn a state law requiring employers to offer insurance coverage for contraceptives.

The law went into effect in 2003, and since then, church-affiliated groups have been trying to bring it down. Their gripe is that the law doesn't make exceptions for churches, seminaries or other religious institutions that might find the law in conflict with their principles. Then again, the law doesn't require that anyone at these institutions use birth control, either -- it just has to be covered by their insurance. And supporters of the law point out that women go on the Pill for reasons other than birth control, like stabilizing their menstrual cycles or perking up their complexions.

But though they lost this appeal, the Catholic groups aren't giving up on their mission just yet. Their next stop is the state's highest court, and if that doesn't work, a spokesperson for the New York State Catholic Conference said it's prepared to go to all the way to Washington.

By Page Rockwell

Page Rockwell is Salon's editorial project manager.

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