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Pa. Catholic groups win health care act ruling

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Catholic groups in western Pennsylvania received another favorable legal ruling in their fight over mandates in the federal health care overhaul law.

District Judge Arthur J. Schwab on Friday granted a permanent injunction to the Catholic Dioceses of Pittsburgh and Erie in their case. That means they don't have to comply with the disputed provisions unless the ruling is overturned by a higher court.

The dioceses object to the law's requirement that contraception, including sterilization, be offered in employee health care plans.

Schwab ruled in November that forcing Catholic schools and charities to comply with the Affordable Care Act could result in decreased donations and the closure of some programs.

Both sides expect the case to be appealed to higher courts. There are numerous similar challenges in other states.

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