Obamacare Birth Control Rule Assailed by Court as Split Widens

A requirement of President Barack Obama’s health-care law that group insurance plans cover contraceptives may violate religious freedom, a U.S. appeals court said, widening a split among the circuits and making it more probable the U.S. Supreme Court will take up the issue.

A three-judge panel in Washington said a lower court was wrong to deny an injunction sought in a lawsuit by two brothers who are Catholic. The men sued on religious grounds, seeking to exclude contraceptive coverage from health plans provided by their produce-distribution companies. While the panel didn’t rule on the actual challenge, they disagreed with the trial judge’s determination that the suit was unlikely to succeed.