WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court has rejected a challenge to Obamacare that would have enabled non-profit religious organizations to avoid government-approved contraception programs.

In a 3-0 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit concluded that the challenged regulations do not impose a substantial burden on religious groups.

The Affordable Care Act requires group health plans to include coverage for Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptive methods. In recognition of religious concerns, the government devised an accommodation that non-profit religious organizations nonetheless oppose.

To be eligible for the accommodation, a religious organization must certify to its insurance company that it opposes coverage for contraceptive services and that it operates as a non-profit religious organization.