Several orders of nuns, both Catholic and Anglican, as well as a couple of Catholic dioceses, along with several other Christian churches and faith-based social justice ministries, are asking the Supreme Court to protect them from an insidious state rule in New York that will compel them to provide abortion coverage in their employees’ health-care packages.
Shades of the Little Sisters of the Poor, who successfully challenged Obama-era regulations that forced them to provide contraceptive coverage in their health insurance. Three times the court ruled in favor of the Little Sisters holding that the government could not force the Little Sisters to do so.
Ironically, in 2017 after the Little Sisters scored two of their Supreme Court victories, the superintendent of the New York department of financial services, Linda A. Lacewell, promulgated a regulation mandating that employer health-care plans cover abortions. The regulations, as originally proposed, contained a religious exemption. But after public pressure, Lacewell backtracked on the religious protection, limiting the exception only to religious employers whose work is, basically, with only members of their sect and who employ persons who share the religious beliefs of the employer.