Religious freedom rallies planned in over 120 locations
Eric Scheidler, Executive Director of the Pro-life Action League.
Eric Scheidler, Executive Director of the Pro-life Action League.
By Benjamin Mann
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- On March 23, more than 120 cities and towns across the U.S. will hear a demand to stop the Obama administration's contraception mandate and restore the freedom of religious institutions and believers.

“The buzz is incredible,” said Eric Scheidler, executive director of the Pro-Life Action League, who is organizing the Nationwide Rally for Religious Freedom along with Citizens for a Pro-Life Society.

“I'm getting phone calls from people all over the country.”

When CNA last spoke with Scheidler, on Feb. 29, protests were being planned in around 50 cities. Since then, the administration has refused to withdraw or change its contraception insurance mandate – and the scope of the national protest movement has more than doubled.

“New cities and towns are still coming on to the rally every single day,” Scheidler said on March 20. “We went into the weekend with 110, we came out of the weekend with over 120.”

“The number of blog posts, and stories, and chatter on Facebook is another sign,” he noted. Based on these indications in both new and traditional media, he expects “a huge turnout across the country,” possibly reaching into the tens-of-thousands.

The March 23 protests, taking place at historic sites and government buildings, are scheduled for the Friday before the Church's Feast of the Annunciation. That date also happens to be the anniversary of Patrick Henry's 1775 “Give me liberty, or give me death” speech.

Scheidler says the protests are part of a movement that will not stop until it secures the free exercise of faith.

“At no point has the Obama administration ever taken seriously the conscience concerns, the moral objections, or the religious objections, of the American people to this mandate,” he observed.

“Until they allow all employers to opt out of providing contraceptives, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs – which are not 'preventive care' for anything, because pregnancy is not a disease – we will continue to fight this mandate.”

The debate over the contraception rule has intensified in recent weeks, despite the White House's attempt to quell controversy in February by promising a set of accommodations that would involve different methods of payment and billing.

These changes were rejected by the U.S. Catholic bishops and others, who called for an end to the rule requiring institutions to provide contraception, sterilization, and abortion-causing drugs through their health plans.

Health and Human Services' most recent announcement suggested some alternate payment plans that religious institutions' insurance providers might use to cover contraception without a co-pay. But the same announcement made clear that the mandate's narrow exemption clause would not be revised.

Some supporters of the mandate have accused opponents of waging a “war on women.” President Obama has presented the argument as a debate over access to contraception, a charge Scheidler considers both a falsehood and a ruse.

“It is insulting to the intelligence of women, and men, that they continue to use this outrageous rhetoric – and create these entirely fictional 'crises.'”

“There's no contraception (access) 'crisis' in this country. And nobody – nobody! – is suggesting that contraceptives be banned.”

Opponents of the mandate, he said, are only demanding the right to opt out either of paying for contraception and abortion-causing drugs, or making contracts under which they would be provided.

Regarding the assertion of a “war on women,” Scheidler dismissed the charge as bogus – suggesting that the very idea was part of a “war going on against women's intelligence.”

“Anyone can see how much of the pro-life and pro-family movement is led by women,” he noted.

For more information, please visit: http://standupforreligiousfreedom.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Liturgical Calendar

January 25, 2015

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 1:14-20


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 1:14-20