Many states with legislation mandating insurance coverage of prescription contraceptives for women have conscience clause exemptions. These exemptions allow providers to opt out of the requirement based on religious or moral beliefs. This article assesses the variation among the exemptions, specifically looking at the impact of ambiguous versus precise statutory language.
The statutory language and its relationship to political or institutional fragmentation is assessed, as well as ideology. To assess the consequence of statuary language variation, the researchers assessed if the state’s conscience clause had been litigated at the appellate level.
Overall, this article indicates that the resources, incentives, and organization of affected stakeholders can heavily contextualize the impact of statutory ambiguity on court intervention. This research provides important context and findings for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.