Contraception Coverage Act Raises Religious Liberty Concerns

Abortion advocates are pushing for the passage of the Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act (CCCA) (S.6013-A-Bonacic/A.8135-B-Cahill) this year.

Albany Update has previously reported on the CCCA, which was introduced by pro-abortion New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman last year and is sponsored in the Senate by pro-abortion Republican Sen. John Bonacic (R-Mt. Hope). The CCCA is best understood as a state-level Obamacare-style insurance mandate on steroids. The bill would require group insurance policies to cover abortion-causing drugs, voluntary sterilization procedures, and all other FDA-approved contraceptive devices without restrictions, copays, or cost sharing. Furthermore, the CCCA would mandate such coverage for the covered spouses, domestic partners, and dependents of insurance enrollees. Unbelievably, the bill would force insurers to “allow for the dispensing of twelve [months’] worth of a contraceptive at one time.” Finally, the CCCA fails to provide adequate conscience protections for faith-based charities that object to paying for contraceptives or abortion-causing drugs.

NYCF’s Executive Director, Jason McGuire, explained these concerns to WHEC News 10 in Rochester, “Some of the provisions do not provide religious exemptions for faith-based employers, small family owned businesses that have deeply-held religious convictions. It’s eerily reminiscent of some of the Obamacare mandates at the federal level.”

In a recent op-ed, Andrea Miller, president of the National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund and its Campaign for a Pro-Choice New York, attempts to make the case for this unnecessary and deeply flawed legislation. According to Ms. Miller, the frequency with which unintended pregnancies occur is explained by a lack of ready access to birth control. This frequently-used argument for birth control mandates utterly fails to explain why the range of free and low-cost birth control drugs and devices that is currently available has not been sufficient to curb unplanned pregnancies.

On January 25, the New York State Assembly passed the CCCA by a vote of 92-39 and was referred to the Senate Insurance Committee. NYCF strongly urges the Senate to relegate this bill to the circular file.