Albany Diocese, others, sue state over abortion coverage rule
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany and other religious groups as well as a private employer have gone to court against the state's insurance regulators over abortion coverage, They claim the state has unconstitutionally enacted a requirement that health plans cover abortions, even if it runs counter to beliefs held by the employer providing the coverage.
"Anyone of good will who values religious liberty or our country's cherished freedoms should be deeply concerned by the actions of the state," Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger of Albany said in a prepared statement about the suit.
The complaint against the state Department of Financial Services and a number of health insurance companies challenges the constitutionality of the abortion mandates which the plaintiffs say were put in place without legislative approval.
"The Department of Financial Services, without any authority by the legislature, has taken it upon itself to force religious organizations and individuals with strong conscientious objection to abortion to fund this procedure which, in every case, kills a developing unique human person,'' Scharfenberger said. "We simply cannot live with this policy, and unfortunately have been left with no choice but to bring this action.''