Catholic church loses first round in court over federal healthcare law

By Denise Jackson

January 7, 2013 Updated Jan 7, 2013 at 10:51 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- The Catholic Diocese of Peoria loses a round in court over the Affordable Health Care Act.

On Friday, Federal Court Judge James Shadid threw out a lawsuit filed by the Catholic Diocese challenging the constitutionality of the health care law.

It requires the Catholic church to provide employee health insurance plans that cover contraception, something Bishop Daniel Jenky says violates the church's religious beliefs.

The diocese also argues that it's plan is grandfathered and exempt from preventive care requirements of the A.C.A., adding that such plans cannot undergo substantial change for fear of losing that exemption.

Judge Shadid says the issue of standing does not need to be resolved because much of the A.C.A. still has yet to be fully implemented.

A Peoria Catholic Diocese spokeswoman says the local church has not decided if it will appeal the decision.

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