A Michigan federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction to protect the Roman Catholic owner of an outdoor-power-equipment company from having to pay for employees' birth control, according to a report by the New York Times. The lawsuit is a challenge to the women's-health mandate of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, which requires employers to provide health insurance that covers contraception and other preventative health care. The judge, Robert H. Cleland of the Federal District Court in Detroit, echoed Republican legislators' stance that the requirement infringes upon the business owners’ freedom of religion. There have been three dozen such lawsuits challenging the contraception mandate filed by individuals, businesses, hospitals, schools, and universities. In July, a federal district judge in Colorado issued a similar injunction, and in September, a federal district judge in Missouri rejected a similar challenge. The Missouri judge, who just happened to be a woman, said the company remained “free to exercise their religion, by not using contraceptives and by discouraging employees from using contraceptives.”
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