Religious fight over contraception splits U.S. top court

WASHINGTON, March 25 Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:05pm EDT

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WASHINGTON, March 25 (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court appeared closely divided on Tuesday as it weighed whether business owners can object on religious grounds to a provision of President Barack Obama's healthcare law that requires employers to provide health insurance that covers birth control.

On the key issue in the case, it was unclear during a 90-minute oral argument whether the court would say that the companies could have an exemption that would allow them to avoid providing the coverage. On a threshold question, a majority of justices appeared likely to rule for-profit corporations do have a right to make religious claims. (Reporting by Lawrence Hurley and Joan Biskupic; Editing by Howard Goller)

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