Cardinal Dolan admits his archdiocese pays up for contraception and abortion insurance
New York diocese funds contraception and abortion for employees as bishops fights Obama plan
The archdiocese of New York has been paying for the supply of contraception and abortion services to thousands of its unionized employees for over a decade according to a new report.
Some 3,000 full-time workers at ArchCare, also known as the Catholic Health Care System, receive coverage for contraception and voluntary pregnancy termination through their membership in 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, a powerful health care workers union.
Cardinal Dolan has spearheaded the fight against a provision of the new healthcare law that requires employers, including some that are religiously affiliated, to cover birth control in employee health plans.
He insists that requiring some religiously affiliated employers to pay for contraception and abortion services would be an unprecedented, and intolerable, government intrusion on religious liberty.
But his own diocese has been paying for such coverage for thousands of its unionized employees for over a decade.
The report adds that Archdiocese of New York has previously acknowledged that some local Catholic institutions offer health insurance plans that include contraceptive drugs to comply with state law; now, it is also acknowledging that the archdiocese’s own money is used to pay for a union health plan that covers contraception and even abortion for workers at its affiliated nursing homes and clinics.
Spokesman for the Archdiocese of New York Joseph Zwilling said: “We provide the services under protest.”
The confirmation comes as Cardinal Dolan consistently rejects compromises offered by the Obama administration to exempt many religious institutions from the provision.
Last February, the American bishops opposed a proposal that would have allowed employees of those non-exempt religious institutions to receive contraceptive coverage through policies paid for directly by insurance companies.
The report adds that New York Archdiocese is also suing the federal government to stop the mandate.
Cardinal Dolan said then: “There remains the possibility that ministries may yet be forced to fund and facilitate such morally illicit activities.” said at the time.
The current process whereby the archdiocese covers its own health workers came into effect long before Cardinal Dolan became Archbishop of New York.
ArchCare operates seven nursing homes and a variety of other health facilities and gives its 1199 union employees the same coverage they would get at over 100 other non-profit hospitals or nursing homes in the New York area.
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