Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas on Thursday, joined Catholic organizations and two Catholic individuals to sue the Obama administration on the new rules on contraception related to health insurance issued earlier this month, reports Reuters.
They filed the first major lawsuit challenging the federal government's new regulations that require healthcare coverage for free birth control. Religious groups say the policy violates the constitutional rights to freedom of religion.
AdvertisementThe government had initially proposed that charities, hospitals and universities - but not churches must provide free contraceptive coverage to female employees.
However, after Catholic organizations and individuals protested, Obama rewrote the rule to provide exemption to religious organizations.
Now, insurance companies have been ordered to provide workers at religious-affiliated institutions with free family planning if they request it, without involving their employer.
To this, religious groups say that, 'Any rule, regulation or law that forces faith-based institutions to provide for services that violate their free exercise of religion, or that penalizes them for failing to kneel at the altar of government, is a flat-out violation of the First Amendment.'