NEW YORK (AP) – Nearly two dozen states and municipalities are suing the federal government to stop a new rule letting health care clinicians object to providing abortions and other services that conflict with their moral or religious beliefs.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in Manhattan federal court asks a judge to block a rule by the Department of Health and Human Services that is scheduled to take effect in July.

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The department has said the rule requires hospitals, universities, clinics and other entities that receive federal funding to certify compliance with some 25 federal laws protecting conscience and religious rights.

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Most laws pertain to medical procedures such as abortion, sterilization and assisted suicide.

The suit is being brought by Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; the District of Columbia; Hawaii; Chicago, Cook County and the state of Illinois; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Nevada; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York City and state; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Virginia; and Wisconsin.

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