More than 100 protestors gathered Friday at the federal courthouse in Spokane to protest new federal health insurance rules.
Robin Luciani, the local rally captain for the Nationwide Rally for Religious Freedom, said 110 people came to the Spokane event to protest a federal decision announced earlier this year related to contraception.
The rally and dozens of others across the country were organized by the Coalition to Stop the Heath and Human Services Mandate, which is made up of dozens of religious groups and organizations opposed to abortion rights.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the health care law that opponents label “Obamacare,” says health insurers must offer “preventive services” with no co-pays, according to the Chicago Tribune. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius defined these services to include “all FDA-approved forms of contraception.”
Churches would be exempted from the rule, but not religiously affiliated hospitals, colleges or charities, according to the Tribune. Critics argue that it violates protections for religious freedom.
“Our government does not have the right to tell us how to practice our faith or violate our conscience, according to the First Amendment,” Luciani said.