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Supreme Court Sends Little Sisters of the Poor Contraception Case Back to Lower Courts

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The justices never ruled on the merits, making Monday's decision allowable, if surprising.

Mother Loraine Marie Maguire, of the Little Sisters of the Poor, speaks to the media after aruments at the US Supreme Court, March 23, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The Supreme Court decided Monday to hand over the contraception case involving the Catholic charity, Little Sisters of the Poor, back to the lower courts, Fox News reported.

The case was sent back to the appeals courts, who will have the opportunity to make new decisions based on recent statements.

The high court had been reviewing the case in an attempted to determine whether religious-affiliated organizations like the Little Sisters of the Poor should be excluded from the Affordable Care Act’s Health and Human Services mandate that requires them to pay for birth control and other contraceptive health coverage in their health care plans.

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The Supreme Court heard arguments about the case March 23.

Thirty-seven petitioners have asked the Supreme Court for exemption.The petitioners, which include several Catholic and evangelical individuals and organizations like the Little Sisters of the Poor, have argued that providing various forms of contraception would violate their conscience.

In the short, unanimous decision Monday, the justices announced that the religious organizations and government attorneys have agreed in recent weeks that affected women may "receive cost-free contraceptive coverage" without violating the religious rights of the church-affiliated employers.

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