US judge in Oklahoma grants health care injunction for Catholic employers over contraceptive fight

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A federal judge in Oklahoma City has granted an injunction to nearly 200 Catholic employers to temporarily prevent the federal government from enforcing the health care law provision requiring insurance coverage for contraceptives.

U.S. District Judge David Russell granted the injunction Wednesday to the Catholic Benefits Association, which includes archdioceses, an insurance company and a nursing home. The group filed a lawsuit in March that alleged the mandate forced them to violate religious objections to contraception and abortion-inducing drugs.

Russell also ruled that employers and the almost 2,000 Catholic parishes that are members of the association will not have to pay penalties and fines for not complying with the contraceptive mandate.

An attorney for the U.S. government, Bradley P. Humphreys, declined to comment Thursday on the judge's ruling.
 

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