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Business owner sues over health plan contraception

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news Bemidji, 56619

Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

ST. JOSEPH, Minn. (AP) — A central Minnesota business owner is joining the wave of lawsuits over religious freedom and the birth control mandate including in President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

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Greg Hall owns American Manufacturing Co. in St. Joseph. Hall says his Catholic beliefs will not allow him to offer contraception to his employees as part of the Affordable Care Act.

Faith-affiliated charities, hospitals and others have filed dozens of lawsuits against the mandate. However, many for-profit business owners are also suing, claiming a violation of their religious beliefs.

Hall's attorney, Erick Kaardal, tells KSTP-TV (http://bit.ly/VDWqHv0 ) the government is not supposed to pass laws that create a substantial burden on a citizen's religious freedoms. He's asking the court to exempt his company from the mandate.

The lawsuits are yielding conflicting rulings in appeals courts around the country.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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