Austin To Participate In National Campaign Against Healthcare Mandate
Updated: Monday, July 2 2012, 05:37 PM CDT
A new front against the Obama administration's mandate where employers would provide workers birth control coverage is set to start in three days. Austin will be one of more than 140 cities participating in Stand Up for Religious Freedom; rallies organized by Catholic leaders to urge people to defy the mandate.
Friday is only the beginning of a 14 day campaign from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. They’re asking people to hold special masses, fast and pray that this mandate is overturned.
As part of the Obama administration's health care overhaul, the mandate would require employers to give workers access to insurance that covers birth control and sterilization.
“That's just something that hasn't been done in our country before,” said Christian Gonzalez, with the Catholic Diocese of Austin. “We're standing up, more for our religious freedom. It's less about women's health and more about respect for religious liberty.”
Planned Parenthood has countered that the mandate is needed to protect women. The organization has said it will ensure all women have access to birth control coverage with no costly co-pays, no additional hurdles, no matter where they work.
Critics have also questioned the timing, four months before the presidential election. Organizers have stressed the effort is non partisan.