The California Supreme Court is set to hear a case Tuesday and decide if Catholic Charities, a Church-based outreach program, can be exempt from state laws requiring them to include contraceptives in employee prescription drug plans, reported the Associated Press.
Catholic Charities of Sacramento attorney James Sweeney explained that contraception is morally unacceptable in the Catholic Church.
The "religious employer exemption" in the law states that churches are exempt from having to provide contraception coverage for employees who work inside parishes. But the exemption does not apply for outreach programs and services, where usually workers are not required to be Catholic or share in the Church's teachings.
After the law was passed in 2000, versions of it were adopted in 20 states. Lawmakers concluded employee prescription plans, without contraceptive benefits, discriminated against women, reported the AP.
This is Catholic Charities’ third try at an exemption. A similar case will be heard in New York courts.