A California law that entitles women to birth control coverage in their employee drug plans doesn’t discriminate against church-affiliated agencies like Catholic Charities that object to contraceptives, the state Supreme Court ruled Monday.
In a 6-1 ruling, the court said the 4-year-old law was a valid anti- discrimination measure that didn’t interfere with religious beliefs or practices. Catholic Charities remains “free to express its disapproval of prescription contraceptives and to encourage its employees not to use them” as long as it treats male and female employees equally, said Justice Kathryn Mickle Werdegar.
The ruling applies statewide to the charitable agency’s 1,600 employees and to 52,000 employees of Catholic hospitals. It does not cover church employees, who were exempted from the law.