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Hobby Lobby seeks formal ruling to avoid fines for refusing certain birth-control for workers

Hobby Lobby and a sister company that sells Christian books and supplies want an Oklahoma federal judge to ensure they won't be fined while fighting part of the nation's new health care law.

Two questions were left unresolved Thursday when the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the companies could fight the government on religious grounds.

A lower court must still weigh in on whether granting an injunction is in the public interest. There also is a question of whether the companies or the government would suffer the greater loss.

The Christian owners of the arts-and-crafts retailer and the Mardel bookstore chain approve of most forms of artificial birth control, but not those that prevent a fertilized egg's implantation such as an IUD or the morning-after pill.

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