Last week, a Minnesota judge dismissed a lawsuit that attempted to end state insurance coverage for abortion. The lawsuit, brought against the state by a conservative anti-abortion legal group on behalf of "taxpayers", alleged that the Department of Human Services was using tax-payer money to fund abortions for women on state assistance when the procedures were not medically necessary and without the authority to do so.
Second District Court Judge Kathleen R. Gearin dismissed the case with prejudice on Thursday. In her opinion, Gearin cited a 1995 case Doe v. Gomez, which determined that if Minnesota funded pregnancy-related care, it would be unconstitutional to not fund therapeutic abortions (when there is a medical reason to terminate the pregnancy, or if it is the result of rape or incest). She also restated the guarantee to right to privacy as stated in Doe v. Gomez: "the difficult decision to obtain a therapeutic abortion will not be made by the government, but will be left to the woman and her doctor." Since the case was dismissed with prejudice, it cannot be filed again.
Media Resources: Associated Press 5/7/2013; RH Reality Check 5/3/2013; State of Minnesota Second Judicial Court 5/2/2013
11/20/2014 Federal Appeals Court Rejects Priests for Life Challenge to Birth Control Coverage Rule - In a victory for women's health, a unanimous panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit on Friday rejected a challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive coverage benefit brought by Priests for Life, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington and other religiously affiliated non-profit organizations.
Judge Nina Pillard, a former law professor who was nominated to the DC Circuit by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate in December, wrote the opinion for the Court, which found that the ACA birth control benefit did not substantially burden or violate non-profits' religious freedom.
Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies must cover the full cost of all FDA-approved contraceptives - including the pill, IUDs, and emergency contraception - without requiring co-pays or cost-sharing. . . .