Late in 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked a 2017 New York State regulation, mandating all health insurance plans within the state cover abortion. The Catholic diocese of Albany filed suit. New York’s abortion mandate included a religious exemption. However, the exemption was so narrow even the Catholic church did not qualify. The official position of the Catholic church denounces abortion as so a grave sin that direct participation in it is cause for immediate excommunication. It is easy to see why forcing the diocese to pay for abortion through their employee health insurance plans is of serious concern. Albany Bishop Edward Scharfenberger said, “We are gratified and grateful that the Supreme Court has recognized the serious constitutional concerns over New York State’s heavy-handed abortion mandate on religious employers.”
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