Supreme Court to Hear Contraception Case

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A controversial religious rights question is headed to the Supreme Court. The justices this week agreed to hear arguments on whether businesses may be exempt on religious grounds from covering birth control in their employees’ insurance plans. The US Catholic bishops and other faith-based groups have been protesting the so-called contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act, saying it violates religious freedom. Last year houses of worship and some religious nonprofits were granted an exemption. Now the High Court will consider whether an exemption should extend to for-profit companies owned by religious people, such as the craft store chain Hobby Lobby, whose evangelical owners argue the mandate violates their beliefs.