A New York Catholic diocese lost another battle in court Thursday when a state appeals court upheld a ruling requiring that health insurance policies in the state cover abortions.
The Times Union reports the Appellate Division of state Supreme Court’s Third Department ruled 5-0 against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany.
The diocese is challenging a state regulation that requires health insurance companies to cover “medically necessary” abortions. The Catholic Church teaches that every human life is valuable, from conception to natural death, and abortions are are moral evil.
Meanwhile, abortion industry leaders claim abortions are “health care,” thereby making every abortion seem “medically necessary.” However, medical groups representing more than 30,000 doctors in America recently emphasized that abortions are not “essential” or medical care.
In its lawsuit, the diocese slammed the state regulation as “morally and religiously offensive,” according to the report. It argued that the abortion mandate is unconstitutional because it violates religious freedom, free speech, freedom of expression and the equal protection clause.
But the appellate court rejected those arguments, claiming the diocese’s case is a “distinction without a legal difference in addition to the fact that it would require this court to enter the thicket of making a religious value judgment,” according to the report.
Specifically, the court upheld a 2019 ruling by New York Supreme Court Justice Richard McNally that argued health insurance policies in the state must cover “medically necessary” abortions. To justify the decision, he pointed to a 2006 ruling against Catholic Charities of Albany when it challenged a mandate requiring health insurance to cover contraception.
Here’s more from the report:
The ruling said: “In essence, (the diocese) position boils down to the argument that, based upon their religious beliefs, there is a fundamental difference between prescribing contraceptives and performing an abortion procedure. The crux of (the state’s) argument is that there is no substantive difference between an abortion and any other medically necessary procedure. Neither argument proves particularly satisfying.”
The state’s position “ignores the twin realities that the contrary view is held with deep religious fervency and that this particular ‘medically necessary’ procedure has been among the most divisive issues in our politics for several decades, despite the effort of the Supreme Court of the United States to put it to rest over 47 years ago,” Appellate Justice John Colangelo stated, noting the landmark 1973 Roe versus Wade ruling by the Supreme Court that struck down state and federal abortion laws. “The ultimate resolution of this issue may well lie in another arena, outside of our judicial purview.”
The diocese likely will appeal.
Abortions destroy unborn children who are unique, living human beings from the moment of conception, and polls consistently find that more Americans believe abortions are “morally wrong” than “morally acceptable.”