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Mich. firm exempt from birth control rule

Nov. 1, 2012 at 4:55 PM

DETROIT, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- In a narrow ruling, a Michigan federal judge Thursday said a family-owned company did not have to cover employees' contraception and threw out another case.

The judge declined to rule whether the birth control requirement in the Affordable Care Act is constitutional, but granted an injunction exempting Weingartz Supply from having a health insurance plan that covers contraception for its employees without a co-pay or deductible, The Hill reported.

The injunction affects only the 67-year-old company and does not stop the contraceptive care policy from being mandated nationwide. Weingartz Supply's owners are Catholic.

"The harm in delaying the implementation of a statute that may later be deemed constitutional must yield to the risk presented here of substantially infringing the sincere exercise of religious beliefs," the judge wrote in his decision.

The court also tossed out a lawsuit against the administration's contraceptive policy filed by the non-profit Catholic group Legaltus.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has previously said religious-affiliated institutions like hospitals and charities would not have to comply with the contraceptive coverage mandate for their employees, but said their insurance companies would have to cover birth control without any cost-sharing.

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