One of several rallies planned by the Pro-Life Action League and the Citizens for a Pro-Life Society will take place on the afternoon of Saturday, Oct. 20, in front of the Dearborn City Hall.
The rally, called “Stand Up For Religious Freedom,” was organized by the two groups to raise awareness about, in their point of view, a threat to religious liberty due to a mandate from the US Health and Human Services Department meant to expand access to FDA-approved modes of birth control and emergency contraception. The mandate is part of the Affordable Care Act of 2010.
Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron will be the featured speaker.
Initially, the mandate required Catholic and other religious employers provide in their health plans contraception, but earlier this year, a compromise indicated that if a religious employer with objections to providing contraceptive services in its health plan, the employer will not be required to provide or pay for the coverage, but the insurance company will be required to directly offer her contraceptive care free of charge, according to a statement provided to the Huffington Post.
Pro-life and Catholic groups believe the provisions on whole are contrary to Catholic teachings, said Vigneron in a statement.
“The issue here is not about contraception,” he said. “The issue is about religious freedom; it is an affront to our constitutional guarantees. The church does not desire to impose its values on society. Rather, it’s the government seeking to impose its views upon the church. That is where the conflict lies.”
The Catholic dioceses of Michigan, through the Michigan Catholic Conference in Lansing, are involved in a lawsuit against the federal government as an attempt to stop the HHS mandate.
The rally is one of 143 events expected to take place 43 states nationwide; similar rallies in downtown Detroit in the spring and summer have drawn several hundred participants. Other events in Michigan will take place in Sterling Heights, Ann Arbor, Clarkston, Gaylord, Grand Blanc, Howell, Kalamazoo, Livonia, New Baltimore, Saginaw and Ontonagon.
The Dearborn City Hall is located at 13635 Michigan Avenue, on the southwest corner of Michigan and Schaefer.