The government wants a judge to dismiss a lawsuit by a Roman Catholic school in Ohio over the federal mandate requiring most employers to cover birth control.
Franciscan University of Steubenville and an association of Michigan Roman Catholic dioceses say the mandate violates religious freedom by requiring a Catholic entity such as the university to comply.
President Obama offered to soften the mandate to accommodate religious groups, but U.S. Catholic bishops say the change doesn't go far enough.
The federal government said in a court filing late Monday that the school and dioceses are protected from any of the mandate's requirements until at least 2014.
The government also says the lawsuit isn't timely because changes are already being made to the regulations to meet the concerns of religious groups.