Judge hears Catholic groups on abortion challenge

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — A federal judge in Casper is set to hear from Roman Catholic organizations trying to block the birth-control requirement in the federal health care overhaul law.

Judge Scott Skavdahl has set a hearing Wednesday in Casper on a challenge from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cheyenne and other organizations.

The groups want Skavdahl to grant an injunction blocking a provision in the federal Affordable Care Act requiring the groups to provide insurance coverage for contraception and abortion services for their non-ministerial workers.

Federal government lawyers are opposing the groups' request. They say the federal law requires religious groups to certify that they meet certain religious criteria, which would trigger third-party insurance coverage for their employees.

The legal challenge is one of many similar cases going on around the country.

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