Lawyers for the federal government and two Pennsylvania Catholic dioceses say a central question in a lawsuit over Affordable Care Act mandates is how to define a "substantial burden" as it relates to religious beliefs.
The oral arguments took place Wednesday in Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh and Erie dioceses object to the new federal health care law and are suing the federal government to seek an exemption.
But the Department of Justice says that since a third party would administer and pay for services such as birth control and abortion that wouldn't burden the church groups.
Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik and other church officials say they can't be complicit in actions that violate the church's teachings.
Judge Arthur Schwab plans to rule by the end of the month.
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