Here’s a post from Tom Ciesielka, one of our own Catholic Bloggers!
President Obama’s HHS Mandate Sparks Nationwide
Pro-Life and Religious Groups To Gather at Federal
Buildings March 23 in Defense of Religious Liberty
Chicago, Illinois—The controversy over President Obama’s HHS
Mandate is now pouring out onto the streets. 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!”
Thousands 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
The 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 action. The
We protest the federal government’s definition of what
constitutes a religious institution through the narrowly constructed
“exemption” to the HHS Mandate, a definition which is both false and
beyond the federal government’s authority to make.
We protest the fact that religious institutions, even
after President Obama’s so-called “accommodation,” are being forced to
facilitate contraception, sterilizations, and abortion-inducing drugs
through the health plans they are mandated to provide.
We protest the Mandate forcing all businesses—not just
religious institutions—to provide coverage of contraception,
sterilizations, and abortion-inducing drugs, if even doing so violates
their own moral convictions on these matters.
We protest the HHS Mandate because, in requiring all
health plans to provide free contraception, sterilization, and
abortion-inducing drugs as “preventative care,” it treats pregnancy and
childbirth as a disease.
Coalition members and more information about the Nationwide
Rally for Religious Freedom—including rally sites coast to coast—can be found
About Citizens for a Pro-life Society
Citizens for a Pro-life Society is an activist organization,
founded on Catholic principles of morality and social justice, dedicated to
advocacy of the sanctity of human life, especially protection of the right to
life of unborn children. They organize public demonstrations, educational
programs, literature distribution, and conferences, and offer mothers in crisis
pregnancy material and spiritual aid. For more information, go to www.prolifesociety.com
About the Pro-Life Action League
The Pro-Life Action League was founded by Joe Scheidler in
1980 with the aim of saving babies from abortion through direct action. Not
content to await a political or judicial solution to abortion, the League seeks
to stop the killing of unborn children right now through all available peaceful
means, including public protest, sidewalk counseling, education, youth
outreach, and national leadership.