Religious fight over contraception splits Supreme Court

Protesters gather on steps of Supreme Court

Published: March 25 2014 | 10:57 am - Updated: 1 April 2014 | 10:08 am in

WASHINGTON (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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