Protesters decry Obama health care law in Downtown rally
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About 100 people protested the birth-control and morning-after drug insurance mandates in the Obama administration's health care law as an assault on religious freedom outside Mellon Square Park at noon today Downtown.
The protest was part of a nationwide day of protests, planned for 164 cities, titled "Stand Up for Religious Freedom." The events were organized by the Pro-Life Action League and Citizens for a Pro-Life Society. It was mainly Catholics protesting, though some cities had leaders of other religions as well.
"This is the largest assault on religious liberty since 1789," said Joe Tumolo, 20, of Indiana Township and a student at Fordham University in New York, who was among those protesting.
The Constitution was ratified in 1789. The First Amendment in the Bill of Rights, which guarantees religious freedom, followed in 1791.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ruled last year that all health insurance plans must provide birth control under the preventive services required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly called "Obamacare."
When religious groups protested the move, the Obama administration announced a compromise in February where the insurance company, not employers such as Catholic universities or hospitals, would pay for the birth control.
A range of anti-abortion activists addressed the crowd, including Helen Cindrich, executive director of People Concerned for the Unborn Child, and Bob Newman, the local organizer of the protest for the Pro-Life Action League.
First Published June 8, 2012 2:25 pm