Judge hears Catholic groups on abortion challenge

By: AP
By: AP

Casper, WY (AP) - A federal judge in Casper must decide whether a provision of the federal health overhaul law violates the religious freedom of Roman Catholic organizations.

Judge Scott Skavdahl heard arguments Wednesday from lawyers representing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cheyenne and other organizations that object to providing insurance coverage for contraception and abortion services for non-ministerial employees.

Lawyers for the church said it would be a burden on the groups' religious freedom to require them to certify that they meet certain religious criteria. That certification would trigger third-party contraceptive insurance coverage for over 200 employees in Wyoming.

A lawyer for the federal government said the requirement wouldn't substantially burden the groups' religious freedom.

Skavdahl will enter a decision later. The challenge is one of several pending around the country.

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