Chelsea Schilling is a commentary editor and staff writer for WND and a proud U.S. Army veteran. She has also worked as a news producer at USA Radio Network and as a news reporter for the Sacramento Union.More ↓Less ↑
When the clock strikes 12 p.m. March 23, thousands of Americans in more than 130 U.S. cities will take a stand with one unified voice against Obamacare’s mandatory contraceptive and abortion-inducing drug coverage.
At the “Stand Up For Religious Freedom – Stop the HHS Mandate” rallies across the nation, the crowds will protest the recent contraceptives mandate and publicly voice their demand that the government protect religious liberty and stop forcing religious groups to cover drug-induced abortions.
March 23 is the second anniversary of the passage of Obamacare. The Obama administration has claimed it’s willing to help insurance companies offset the cost of free birth control for women working for religious institutions such as hospitals and colleges. Under the plan, students and workers may obtain contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs from insurance companies without a copay.
However, Eric Scheidler, executive director of Pro Life Action League, told WND he’s not buying the White House’s “compromise.”
“I think what we’re going to see is that these rallies are going to reset the entire issue, because we’ve been told by the mainstream media – who bought all of Barack Obama’s spin – that somehow the concerns of religious people have been addressed, that some kind of a compromise was reached,” Scheidler said. “Compromise, by definition, means you both give something up. Obama didn’t give anything up, and the bishops didn’t get anything at all in return – nor did any of the Christian leaders whose organizations are similarly affected, or even business owners of faith who don’t want to be responsible for facilitating the use of abortion-inducing drugs by their employees.”
Many of the rallies will be held at federal buildings and historic sites. The Philadelphia rally will take place at Independence Hall, and the Freeport rally will be at Debate Square, where one of the original Lincoln-Douglas debates took place.
“While this is a very unified effort headquartered here in Chicago, it is also very much of a grassroots effort,” Scheidler explained. “The local groups have been inviting pastors, priests, bishops, rabbis, physicians, business owners, media and members of Congress to come out and – from their own personal perspectives and experience – to explain why they oppose the HHS mandate and what we need to do to stop it. We’re fighting a tremendous evil. In so doing, we are encountering so much solidarity with people of faith and even people of no faith.”
The rallies will be family friendly and cooperate with local law enforcement. The nonpartisan event welcomes any American who wants to protect religious freedom and take a stand against the contraception mandate. Organizers ask that no particular candidate, party or organization be represented on people’s signs.
“Obviously it’s political,” Scheidler said. “We’re talking about the public policy of a particular politician, Barack Obama, and Kathleen Sebelius and their friends in Congress and the executive branch. Certainly it’s political, but it’s not partisan.”
The movements’ No. 1 goal is to “reignite the controversy and undo the spin that President Obama and Kathleen Sebelius and their spokespeople have put on this thing,” Scheidler explained. “The accommodation was a shell game. It’s all smoke and mirrors. At the end of the day, employers are still being forced under the penalty of draconian fines to provide services that they find offensive to their religious beliefs or their moral beliefs, their natural-law beliefs. You don’t have to be Catholic or Christian or Jewish to believe that taking drugs to induce an early abortion is immoral.”
The more people know about the HHS mandate, he said, the less they support it:
“We should all be horrified by this thing. When the American people hear about this, as they will on Friday, March 23, the rollback is going to start. The HHS mandate is going into the dustbin of history.
The following is a list of rallies that are open to the public:
Anchorage Town Square Park
551 W. 6th Avenue (Map)