By Jonathan Stempel, Reuters
A divided federal appeals court has temporarily barred the U.S. government from requiring an Illinois company to obtain insurance coverage for contraceptives, as required under the 2010 healthcare overhaul, after the owners objected on religious grounds.
More than 40 lawsuits are challenging a requirement in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that requires most for-profit companies to offer workers insurance coverage for contraceptive drugs and devices and other birth control methods.
Friday's 2-1 order by a panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago in favor of Cyril and Jane Korte was the first by a federal appeals court to temporarily halt enforcement against people who said it violated their faith, said Edward White, a lawyer for the Roman Catholic couple. . . .
"Business owners who are objecting to the mandate are not objecting to people using contraceptives, but that they have to arrange for and pay for it," White, a lawyer with the American Center for Law and Justice, said in a phone interview. "The federal government shouldn't tell business owners they have to contract to buy what they see as immoral services and goods.". . .
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