D.C. Circuit orders feds to rewrite part of health-care law

Thursday, December 20, 2012

GASTONIA, N.C.  — A Roman Catholic college in Gaston County says it’s happy with a ruling this week by a federal appeals court on its challenge of rules that could require the school to provide free contraceptives to employees.

Belmont Abbey College President William Thierfelder says the Dec. 18 order  is an early Christmas present.

Belmont Abbey sued the federal government over the Affordable Care Act requirement that employers must provide free contraceptives in their employee insurance plans.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ordered the federal government to re-write the law so it does not force religious institutions to offer contraceptives.

The challenge, also joined by Illinois’ Wheaton College, said the law would require the schools to act contrary to church teachings.

The court gave the government until March 31 to develop new rules for religious organizations.

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