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Archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan, gestures during an interview at the North American College in Rome, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

NEW YORK (AP) — Roman Catholic dioceses, schools and other groups sued the Obama administration Monday in eight states and the District of Columbia over a federal mandate that most employers provide workers free birth control as part of their health insurance.

The federal lawsuits represent the largest push against the mandate since President Barack Obama announced the policy in January. Among those suing are the University of Notre Dame, the Archdioceses of Washington and New York, the Michigan Catholic Conference and the Catholic University of America.

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