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129 HHS Mandate Rallies Planned Nationwide

Tens of thousands of Americans are expected to attend 129 rallies that are scheduled in major cities throughout the country this Friday to stand up for religious freedom and oppose the Obama administration's mandate forcing all employers to cover contraception. is reporting that the number of rallies has swelled and enthusiasm for the protest has grown far beyond what organizers anticipated.

“We hoped we’d get maybe 50 cities,” said Eric Scheidler of the Pro Life Action League, who came up with the idea of a nationwide rally with fellow activist Monica Miller. But demand quickly became overwhelming, and his office is now sending thousands of signs across the country.

Bryan Kemper, Director of Youth Outreach for Priests for Life, which is part of the coalition behind the nationwide protest, said he believes that the Obama administration “has woken a sleeping giant.”

“What we are seeing is a Christian unity like we have never seen before,” Kemper told LifeSite. “What we would like to see is for the American public - not only Christian, but all of us who believe in the Constitution - to stand up and tell the Obama administration this is not a dictatorship and we will not be ok with this in America.”

The protests, which will take place at noon outside federal buildings across the country, will include more than 15 bishops and hundreds of notable speakers.

Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Fr. Benedict Groeschel, and Mother Mary Agnes Donovan, Superior General of the Sisters of Life, will be addressing the crowd at the New York City event.

Father Paul Schenck, Rev. Rob Schenck, the Family Research Council’s Cathy Ruse and her husband Austin Ruse, of C-FAM, will address the Rally outside Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

In addition to the Bishop David Choby, the Nashville Rally will feature Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) and Dr. Richard Land, President of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Liberty Commission.

The Chicago Rally will feature Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL); Mary FioRito, Executive Assistant to the Archbishop, Archdiocese of Chicago; and Joe Morris, Past President of B’nai B’rith in the Midwest.

The San Francisco Rally will feature Reggie Littlejohn of Women’s Rights without Frontiers and Fr. Joseph Fessio, SJ of Ignatius Press.

Scheidler told LifeSite there are two things that “really deeply offend” those anxious to speak out against the mandate.

“The one is that the HHS mandate treats motherhood like motherhood is a disease,” he said. “We have the federal government strong-arming the people to force employers to give them free abortifacient drugs, contraceptives, and sterilizations because they consider motherhood a disease.”

Second, he said, people were offended that the Obama administration “has taken it upon itself … to decide for religious institutions what constitutes their mission.”

“The federal government has decided that what they’re doing in answer to Christ’s command that we clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, et cetera, is no longer considered religious activity,” he said, referring to the extremely narrow religious exemption in the mandate, which applies only to places of worship, rather than all religious organizations.

In an effort to quell the uprising, the Obama administration announced yet another set of accounting gimmicks last Friday along with another 90 day comment period on the mandate to try to placate religious institutions, but nothing short of repeal will satisfy an angry public.

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