PITTSBURGH (AP) — A federal judge in western Pennsylvania says Catholic groups don't immediately have to comply with mandates in the federal health care overhaul law.
U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab ruled Thursday that forcing parts of the Pittsburgh and Erie Catholic dioceses to comply with the Affordable Care Act could result in decreased donations, loss of employees and fines that could force the closure of some church programs. The dioceses object to the law's requirement that birth control and abortion coverage be offered in employee health care plans.
Schwab says the government won't be harmed by an injunction, or delay, while the case is appealed to higher courts.
Some experts believe the U.S. Supreme Court will make the final decision.