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Fri February 24, 2012
7 states challenge birth control coverage rule, including Michigan
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Michigan and six other states are asking a federal judge to block an Obama administration mandate that requires birth control coverage for employees of religious-affiliated organizations.
The lawsuit filed at a U.S. District Court in Lincoln, Nebraska alleges that the new rule violates the First Amendment rights of groups such as the Roman Catholic church that object to the use of contraceptives.
The rule announced as part of the federal health care law has come under fire not only from Catholic bishops but also the leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention. In response to this criticism, Obama administration officials have said they will shift the requirement from the employers to health insurers themselves.
Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning says the proposed change still fails to address their concerns.
Joining the lawsuit are Nebraska, Florida, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas and South Carolina.