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On March 23, concerned citizens in over 50 cities including
Washington D.C., New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and San Francisco
will gather at federal buildings for a rally with the theme, “Stand Up
for Religious Freedom Stop the HHS Mandate!”
of Americans of all faiths are expected to participate in these
rallies, organized by Citizens for a Pro-Life Society and the Pro-Life
Action League, to oppose the new mandate from the U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services that requires all employers to provide free
contraceptives, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs through their
health plans. Religious leaders and other public figures will speak out
against the HHS Mandate.
The opponents of the mandate say HHS provided a “religious exemption”
so narrow that it would exclude Catholic hospitals, universities, and
charities, forcing these institutions to act in direct opposition to
Catholic teaching through the health care plans they provide.
“With the HHS Mandate, the Obama administration has presumed upon
itself the authority to decide what counts as a religious institution in
this country,” said Eric Scheidler, executive director of the Pro-Life
Action League. “This is an unprecedented attack on the free exercise of
religious faith protected by the First Amendment.”
“The Obama mandate is a complete affront to religious liberty,” said
Monica Miller, director of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society. “Persons of
faith or no faith at all should be alarmed at Obama riding rough-shod
over the conscience of American citizens. We are calling on all people
of good will to rise up and vigorously oppose this ruling.”
Scheidler and Miller have formed the Stand Up for Religious Freedom
Coalition, comprised of dozens of local and national pro-life and
pro-family organizations, to fight the HHS Mandate through direct
. Kathryn Jean Lopez of NRO interviews Eric Scheidler
, who is "a
pro-life activist, with the Pro-Life Action League, who has helped
organize a website coordinating Stand Up for Religious Freedom rallies
across the U.S. tomorrow."
Truly grassroots, the rallies for
religious freedom Friday are not a top-down kinda thing, but gatherings
of concerned Americans on a weekday, organized to different degrees in
different locations, at state capitols around the country, as well as
outside the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C.
Find a location near you at standupforreligiousfreedom.com. Scheidler points to where to be tomorrow at noon and beyond:
Lopez: Where will you be tomorrow at noon?
Scheidler: I’ll be in Chicago, since the Pro-Life Action League is based in Chicago.
I might have been tempted to come out to
the D.C. or New York rally, but I really believe in grassroots
activism. My mission is to put people to work in their own communities
defending the sanctity of life and putting their religious convictions
Activism isn’t just something that goes
on in D.C. or other power centers. Pro-life activism, religious
activism has to happen everywhere.
I want to exemplify that, so I’ll be in Chicago’s federal plaza tomorrow.
Lopez: What’s your goal for Friday’s rallies?
Scheidler: Our goal is to show that
there is widespread, growing opposition to Obama’s HHS Mandate, that
this isn’t just a fight between President Obama and the Catholic
All across the United States, people of
all faiths or no faith at all are seeing the HHS Mandate for what
it is: the single greatest attack on religious freedom since our
Tomorrow, the push-back begins.
We’ll be resetting the terms of this
controversy, getting past the nonsense about a “war on women” or a “war
on contraception” and the whole Sandra Fluke distraction.
Our goal is to fire up a grassroots army
of Americans committed to overturning the HHS Mandate, first by
educating their friends, neighbors and coworkers about how our
cherished freedoms are at stake, and then by working for the
legislative and electoral changes necessary to restore religious
Much more information at standupforreligiousfreedom.com.