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FGCU launches free workshops to foster equity, retain workers; Supreme Court throws out race claim in SC redistricting case in win for GOP; as millions hit the roads, MI lawmakers consider extra driving fees; CT groups prepare for World Fish Migration Day.

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U.S. Supreme Court allows South Carolina gerrymander that dilutes Black voters, Sen. Ted Cruz refuses to say if he'll accept 2024 election results, and Trump calls Mar-a-Lago search an attempt to have him assassinated.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

SCOTUS Decision on Hobby Lobby Case Expected by June

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014   

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The arguments are over, and now the waiting begins as the U.S. Supreme Court weighs a challenge to the contraceptive mandate in the new federal health-care law.

Attorneys for two for-profit companies argued before the justices on Tuesday that requiring their insurance to cover birth control for employees goes against their religious beliefs. But Steven Emmert, chief operating officer at Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee, said 99 percent of women use contraception during their lives and it is integral to their health care.

"That's what is so frightening, I think, and why a recent poll showed that 70 percent of all women oppose what these two businesses are trying to do," Emmert said, "because they recognize that, for them, contraception is part of their regular medical care."

Emmert said it's important to note that many doctors and medical groups have spoken out against this possible limiting of health-care options for women, and that such a decision could have even greater implications for all Americans.

"Because then, we're talking about your employer limiting your ability to get vaccines, or a blood transfusion or any other type of health care that you feel you need," he said. "They could deny it, based on whatever they claim to be their religious belief."

The companies challenging the requirement are Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties. A decision from the Supreme Court is expected in June.

Information about the case is online at scotusblog.com. Poll results are at plannedparenthoodaction.org.


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