The Family Foundation of Virginia urged supporters to attend four rallies across the state Friday to demonstrate opposition to perceived threats to religious freedom posed by federal health-care reform.
Billed as “Stand Up for Religious Freedom” rallies, they are part of a national protest against federal health-care reform mandates that some religious groups say conflict with their faith. Similar rallies were held across the the country in March.
“This is a nationwide day of rallies in response to the recent U.S. Department of Health and Human Services mandate forcing religious institutions to pay for procedures/drugs which violate their core religious beliefs, such as abortion-inducing drugs,” Victoria Cobb, president of the Family Foundation of Virginia, said in a prepared statement.
The 2010 health-care law required that most religious employers, like other employers, provide workers with insurance plans that cover contraception and sterilization, services forbidden under Catholic teaching. The White House subsequently came up with an arrangement that it said would effectively shift the requirement from employers to insurance companies, but some religious conservatives were unsatisfied.
“Initially, this mandate has had the greatest impact on the Catholic Church,” Cobb said. “However, if it is not reversed, it has the potential to restrict the freedom of religion and conscience of every faith in the entire nation.”
The rallies are scheduled to take place from noon to 1 p.m. in Roanoke, Charlottesville, Virginia Beach and Lexington.