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Obama administration backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate (+video)

Government lawyers give up their challenge to a temporary injunction in a Bible publisher's lawsuit and will battle the issue in another pending case at the appeals court.

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A federal appeals court in Washington has granted a request by the Obama administration to back out of an appeal involving a publisher of Bibles who is refusing for religious reasons to provide contraceptives to his employees under the president’s new health-care mandate.

Mark Taylor and Tyndale House Publishers sued the Obama administration on grounds that the Affordable Care Act’s mandate concerning provision of contraceptives violates the publisher’s sincerely held religious beliefs.

The ACA requires that employers provide cost-free contraception for their workers – including the so-called morning after pill, which some critics say is an abortion-inducing drug.

Fifty-nine lawsuits on behalf of nearly 200 plaintiffs have been filed by individuals and companies across the nation charging that the new health-care mandate violates basic tenants of religious liberty and conscience.

The dispute is developing into a major showdown pitting the scope of religious freedom against government power to regulate conduct of the faithful.

The plaintiffs are asking the courts to block the Obamacare contraception mandate. Many of the cases are reaching the appellate level where judges in the Tenth, Sixth, and Third Circuits have denied requests for temporary injunctions. Judges in the Seventh, Eighth, and District of Columbia Circuits have granted temporary injunctions.

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