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Policy: Law

Supreme Court offers nuns reprieve from Obamacare birth control mandate

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Supreme Court,Health Care,PennAve,Sean Lengell,Religion,Law,Contraception,HHS,Sonia Sotomayor,Nuns,Little Sisters of the Poor

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to temporarily exempt a group of nuns who run a Denver nursing home from a birth control requirement included in Obamacare.

The move keeps in place Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s New Year's Eve short-term order to hold off the contraceptive coverage requirement of the Affordable Care Act until an appeals court reviews the nuns' case.

The Little Sisters of the Poor have sued over the new health care law's requirement that employers provide coverage for contraceptive care, saying it violates their religious beliefs.

The high court is now asking them to declare in writing that they have religious objections to providing that coverage.

"The court issues this order based on all of the circumstances of the case, and this order should not be construed as an expression of the court’s views on the merits," the order says.

The health care law requires all new insurance plans to provide free birth control benefits. Churches who employee people are automatically exempted from the law.

Religiously affiliated nonprofit groups, such as the nuns, also may get an exemption, but they first must submit paperwork saying they oppose the contraception mandate on religious grounds. The nuns had said earlier that they object to filling out the forms, saying that even doing so violates their religious beliefs.

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Sean Lengell

Congressional Correspondent
The Washington Examiner