A federal judge ruled Monday that an anti-abortion organization with no religious affiliation can claim a moral objection to the Affordable Care Act's mandate that employers provide insurance coverage for birth control to female staff, reports The New York Times.
The decision challenges the Obama administration's stance limiting exemptions to the rule to faith-based groups, which are allowed to opt out of directly providing contraceptive coverage. Judge Richard J. Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia said the government was practicing "regulatory favoritism" and that moral opposition to contraception should be accorded similar consideration.
The case was brought by March for Life, a self-described pro-life group that opposes methods of birth control it considers tantamount to abortion, including hormonal products and intrauterine devices. The government is expected to appeal the ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.