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January 28, 2013

Faith Groups Lead Court Fight Against Contraceptive Mandate

Employers have filed a rash of lawsuits challenging a provision in the new health-care law requiring that birth-control services be covered in workers' health plans, with church-affiliated nonprofit organizations taking a lead role, writes The New York Times.

While private businesses have brought some cases, most of the more than 45 suits have been filed by Catholic, evangelical, and Mennonite groups. The various legal challenges have produced widely different initial rulings, making it likely the matter will end up before the Supreme Court.

Plaintiffs in the cases argue that the contraceptive mandate forces them to violate core religious beliefs regarding birth control. The Obama administration has outlined criteria for granting exceptions to religious employers, but they would not cover many faith-linked charities, schools, and hospitals.