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11.21.04 - CRR, along with the California Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (CARAL), California Planned Parenthood Education Fund, and the California Medical Society, participated as amici (friends-of-the-court) in this case, arguing in favor of the constitutionality of the Women's Contraception Equity Act (WCEA), a law that requires California employers who provide health care coverage and a prescription plan to their employees to include prescription contraceptives in that coverage.
Filing date: 07/20/2000
Center Attorney(s): Bebe J. Anderson
Summary: The WCEA was challenged in this case by Catholic Charities of Sacramento, which sought to block the law because it does not fall under the "religious employer" exemption that was included in the law in response to pressure from Catholic groups. Catholic Charities argued that the statute presented it with the dilemma of "either refusing to provide health insurance coverage for its employees or facilitating the sin of contraception, both of which violate its religious beliefs." The amicus brief submitted by CRR and other groups argued that the WCEA properly balances the relevant interests and rights and does not violate the First Amendment Rights of employers such as Catholic Charities.
In 2004, the California Supreme Court upheld the WCEA, holding that it does not impermissibly impair the religious rights of Catholic Charities by requiring that they include prescription contraceptives in their health benefit program.