|MINNEAPOLIS — Some 2,000 people rallied at the U.S. Courthouse in Minneapolis in June to protest the controversial Health and Human Services (HHS) Mandate. The mandate would require religious organizations to provide contraceptives, sterilizations and abortion-inducing drugs through their health plans, a proposal many find objectionable due to their moral, ethical or religious positions.
The Twin Cities Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally coincided with rallies in 160 other cities across the country. The local rally was organized by Pro-Life Action Ministries (PLAM) and the Minnesota Catholic Conference.
Speakers included the Most Reverend John M. LeVoir, Bishop of the Diocese of New Ulm; six-time All-Pro football player Matt Birk; Gary Borgendale, local ministry director of AM980 KKMS Christian Talk Radio; Jason Adkins, executive director and general counsel, Minnesota Catholic Conference; and Brian Gibson, executive director of PLAM, among other speakers.
The rally was held only a few short weeks from the anticipated Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act, which is likely to be released in late June or early July.
“If the Affordable Care Act is ruled unconstitutional, we must ensure that religious freedom will be protected in subsequent health care legislation,” said Gibson, via a news release. “But if [it] is not struck down, we are sending the federal government a clear message that the faith-based institutions and private businesses affected by the HHS Mandate here in Minnesota will not violate their consciences by complying with it.”
Gibson also explained that the rally had nothing to do with access to contraception.
“There is no ‘war on contraception’ in our country,” he said. “Contraception is already widely and cheaply available. What’s really under attack today is religious freedom.”
ACTIONPOINT: For more information on PLAM, visit www.plam.org or www.standuprally.com.