A federal appeals court has issued a ruling against the University of Notre Dame in a lawsuit over parts of the federal health care law that forces it to provide health insurance for students and employees that covers contraceptives.

The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago on Friday upheld a judge's earlier ruling that denied the Roman Catholic school's request for a preliminary injunction as the lawsuit moves forward.

The lawsuit challenges a compromise offered by the Obama administration that attempted to create a buffer for religiously affiliated universities and other organizations that oppose birth control. The health care law requires insurers or the health plan's outside administrator to pay for birth control coverage.

Notre Dame contends the law violates its freedom to practice religion without government interference.