Seven U.S. states have filed a lawsuit challenging a new requirement that religious-affiliated groups offer heath insurance that covers contraceptives and other birth control services.

The lawsuit filed Thursday says the new rule violates the right of religious freedom granted by the U.S. Constitution. It was filed by attorneys general in Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas.

Three Catholic organizations and two private citizens also joined in the lawsuit.

The Obama administration announced earlier this year that faith-based institutions such as charities, hospitals and schools offer contraception coverage to its employees under the new federal health care law. But the rule drew angry protests from some religious leaders, who claimed it violated their beliefs against birth control.

The outcry prompted President Barack Obama to offer a compromise that shifts the burden from employers onto insurance companies.



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