The Obama administration is calling on the Supreme Court to weigh in on faith-based charities' adherence to the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate, reports the Associated Press. The Justice Department says in a new filing that the justices should resolve a dispute among lower courts over whether the requirement that employees' health plans cover birth control breaches faith nonprofits' religious liberty.
Numerous faith-affiliated charities, hospitals, and colleges have sued to block the mandate. They contend an opt-out provision, by which third parties provide contraceptive coverage if an organization states a moral objection to doing so, still makes them complicit in practices that violate their beliefs. Seven federal appears courts have sided with the administration, but the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last month in favor of religious groups challenging the rule, making it more likely that the Supreme Court will step in.