Judges weigh religious exemption for health law

Posted at 12:03 PM, Sep 24, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-24 08:13:58-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court is considering whether for-profit businesses can be exempted from a contraceptive mandate in the health care law because of the owners' religious views.

The law already exempts houses of worship from the requirement, but two brothers who own businesses in Ohio argue they shouldn't have to comply. The brothers, Francis and Philip M. Gilardi, say the requirement would force them to violate their Roman Catholic religious beliefs and moral values by providing contraceptives such as the Plan B pill for their employees.

At a hearing Tuesday, Judge Harry T. Edwards was skeptical of the Gilardis' argument. He said sometimes religious freedom has to yield to the greater good.

The other two judges on the panel didn't indicate how they are leaning in the argument.