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Obama birth control mandates loosens lawsuits

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By RACHEL ZOLL

AP Religion Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Lawsuits over the birth control rule in the federal health care overhaul seem headed to the Supreme Court.

The provision of President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act requires employers to provide health insurance that covers contraception.

Dozens of lawsuits have been filed by faith-affiliated charities, hospitals and universities. They say the mandate forces them to violate their religious beliefs. For-profit business owners are also suing over the religious freedom issue.

The Obama administration is trying to come up with an accommodation for faith groups before the rule takes effect for them in August.

Meanwhile, the lawsuits by business owners are producing conflicting rulings in federal courts around the country. Legal scholars say it's very likely that the Supreme Court will have to decide the issues.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.