A federal judge in Atlanta ruled Wednesday that the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah are “entirely exempt” from the contraceptive mandate of the Affordable Care Act, including a provision that would let their female employees or female family members secure contraceptive coverage from their third-party insurers.

U.S. District Judge William Duffey Jr. also permanently enjoined the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Secretary Kathleen Sebelius from enforcing the contraceptive mandate against Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese, a nonprofit organization that provides social services; and Catholic Education of North Georgia Inc., which operates five Catholic schools that educate nearly 12,000 students and employ more than 4,800 teachers and administrators.

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