Washington D.C., Oct 4, 2004 / 22:00 pm America/Denver (CNA).
The Supreme Court refused yesterday to reverse a ruling, which forces California religious organizations to pay for birth control pills in the health insurance benefits they offer employees.
Catholic Charities had filed an appeal of a California Supreme Court ruling made earlier this year.
Catholic Charities challenged the Women's Contraceptive Equity Act, and argued that it should not be forced to pay for its employees’ contraceptives based on its First Amendment right to exercise its religious beliefs without government interference.
The Supreme Court had been asked to review California’s law, which exempts churches from this requirement but not religious institutions, like hospitals and charity organizations.
“If the state of California can coerce Catholic agencies to pay for contraceptives, it can force them to pay for abortions,” attorney Kevin Baine told justices in the appeal for Catholic Charities.