Albany diocese sues to rescind insurer abortion mandate

Credit: MGN Online

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – New York insurance regulators say they are reviewing a lawsuit by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany over requirements that workplace health plans cover employee abortions.

The complaint filed in state court says the Department of Financial Services lacks legislative authority to impose the requirements. The lawsuit claims the mandate is unconstitutional and forces employers with religious and conscientious objections to abortion to help pay for them.

The diocese calls it “an invidious governmental coercion of religious institutions, employers and individuals.”

The lawsuit faults the department’s “model language” to insurers requiring individual and small group health plans to include coverage of “therapeutic” and “non-therapeutic” abortions. The suit also says that abortion coverage “is encrypted in health insurance contracts under the rubric of ‘medically necessary’ surgery.”

Department spokesman Richard Loconte said Friday they are reviewing the complaint.

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