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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida joins multi-state suit over Obama contraception requirement



Joining forces with six other states, Florida is suing the President Barack Obama’s mandate that health insurance policies include coverage for contraceptives, sterilizations and related services. The requirement has been strongly opposed by the Catholic Church and conservative organizations.

The state of Nebraska is taking the lead on the suit, filed in federal court today. Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi released a statement vowing to fight the rule, saying it violates citizens' First Amendment rights.

"Government has no business forcing religious institutions and individuals to violate their sincerely held beliefs," Bondi said. "This lawsuit is about protecting religious liberty and the rights of conscience, our most basic freedoms as Americans."

The Obama administration has defended its decision, saying the rule assures that a woman can have access to contraception regardless of where she works.

The other states joining the lawsuit are Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas.

A copy of the lawsuit is attached below.

[Last modified: Thursday, February 23, 2012 7:03pm]


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