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New York's high court upholds requiring insurance to cover medically necessary abortions


ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York can continue to require companies with health insurance plans to cover medically necessary abortions, the state’s highest court ruled Tuesday.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany and other religious groups argued that the rule violated their religious freedoms.

State financial regulators approved the policy in 2017. The state Legislature then separately codified the abortion coverage regulation into law in 2022. The religious groups sued over the regulation, not the law.

The Court of Appeals case had larger significance because the state's law could be challenged using a similar legal argument, if the religious groups were successful.

Dennis Poust, executive director of the New York State Catholic Conference, said he expects an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“We continue to believe that the regulatory action by the state, as well as subsequent legislative action, requiring religious organizations to provide and pay for coverage of abortion in its employee health plans is unconstitutional and unjust,” he said in a statement.