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Federal government seeks dismissal of suit over birth control requirement in health care law

The federal government has asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta and other religious institutions seeking to overturn a provision in the federal health care law that requires group health plans to provide free birth control.

The groups argued in a lawsuit filed in October that their religious beliefs prohibit them from providing the required coverage for certain services provided for in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

In a filing Monday, lawyers for the federal government argue the groups haven't shown any actual or imminent harm. They also argue that proposed amendments would accommodate religious groups' objections to covering contraceptive services.

The lawyers note that similar lawsuits have been filed around the country, and several courts have already dismissed them.

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