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Panel reverses rejection of challenge by Missouri lawmaker fighting birth-control coverage

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ST. LOUIS — A federal appeals panel has reversed a lower court's rejection of a challenge to the Affordable Care Act brought by a Missouri lawmaker fighting required birth control coverage in his state-sponsored insurance plan.

The Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis on Monday reversed a U.S. District Court's 2013 ruling dismissing the complaint brought by Republican state Rep. Paul Wieland and his wife Teresa against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and other federal agencies.

Wieland's lawyers cited the Supreme Court's earlier decision that private companies such as Hobby Lobby with religious objections can opt out of the federal insurance plan's contraceptive requirement.

The appeals decision sends the case back to district court.

The Health and Human Services Department didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.

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