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Contraceptives challenge now before Supreme Court

The challenge over a provision of the federal health care law that requires most employers to provide health insurance coverage for emergency contraceptives for their employees has landed before the U.S. Supreme Court.

SCOTUSblog’s Lyle Denniston reports that two employers – companies privately owned by individuals who object to such coverage for religious reasons – have asked the Court to rule on their challenge to the law on the basis that it interferes with their First Amendment-protected religious freedoms. The application in the case Hobby Lobby Stores v. Sebelius asks the justices to weigh in before a federal appeals court rules, and is before Justice Sonia M. Sotomayor. The justice may act on the petition alone or refer it to the full Court for consideration.

The challenge is one of a series of lawsuits that have been filed across the country over the contraception provision of the law.

UPDATE: Sotomayor rejected the request for an emergency injunction blocking enforcement of the law, but did not rule on the merits of the case.

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