- The Washington Times - Monday, November 1, 2021

The Supreme Court announced Monday it would not hear a challenge against New York’s requirement that employers provide abortion coverage with health insurance plans.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany challenged the requirement, saying the mandate ran afoul of its religious liberty and constitutional rights.

The 2017 state regulation requires employers to fund abortions in their health insurance plans. It provides an exemption for religious entities with a “purpose” to “inculcate religious values,” according to court papers.

The Catholic entities, though, argued that other religious organizations with broader missions — including nursing homes and charities — are forced to comply with the regulation.

The lower court found the law generally applicable and said it did not single out religious institutions.

The Catholic entities promptly appealed, asking the justices to weigh in. But the high court Monday declined to hear the case and instead remanded it back to lower courts in light of its ruling earlier this year in Fulton v. Philadelphia.

In that case, the justices unanimously sided with a Catholic foster group that the city refused to work with due to the Catholic institution not placing children with LGBT families.

Justices Neil Gorsuch, Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas would have granted review in the case, but it takes at least four of the nine  justices for an appeal to be granted.

• Alex Swoyer can be reached at aswoyer@washingtontimes.com.

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