More Than 100 Rally For Religious Freedom

A Havre de Grace woman organized the Rally for Religious Freedom that took place in Bel Air Friday afternoon.

With three days and an abundance of passion, Paula Hoppel of Havre de Grace made Bel Air part of .

"I am amazed. I had no idea what to expect, but I was thinking we'd get at least 50 people but I think we tripled that," Hoppel said.

Hoppel said she was passionate about standing up against the that requires employers, including religious institutions, to provide contraceptives to employees through their health care plans.

The Department of Health and Human Services stated that the new rule "Ensures that women with health insurance coverage will have access to the full range" of all "FDA-approved forms of contraception."

Hoppel learned the nearest rally location to Harford County, out of 129 planned for the same time across the nation, was Baltimore. She said time constraints limited how far she could go on Friday, so she decided to organize a rally a a little closer to home in Bel Air.

Hoppel and more than 100 others gathered on the steps of the Friday to express opposition to the law.

"As a young woman I don't think this is representative of my needs or beliefs," Amelia Watkins, 22, of Elkton, said at the rally Friday.

Watkins told Patch she feels the law is disrespectful to her as a Christian and as a young woman who has no need for contraception. She said the mandate does not represent her and other women of all ages who feel the same way.

Were you at the rally? What are your thoughts on the law? Please share respectfully in the comments section below.

Brandon April 24, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Drug testing is an attempt to find out if the potential employee is or might breaking the law. As far as I know contraception is not illegal...yet. This is a false corollary.
franking June 09, 2012 at 01:52 AM
The federal govt. isn't mandating that private carriers cover Viagra at 100%, or at all. Employers are free to buy (or self insure) policies that don't cover it. And it should be noted that unlike BC, it corrects a medical condition. Priorities are pretty messed up when this sounds reasonable, but a woman will still have out of pocket expenses for her cancer treatment or high blood pressure. But I'm not too surprised. To the libertine, that's all women are good for.
Mary Piccirilli June 14, 2012 at 04:01 PM
If we are concerned about women's health, why not choose that which is natural as opposed to a synthetic chemical solution that is a number one carcinogen such as arsenic and asbestos found by the World Health Organization. Instead the government wants to ban large sodas. I am against giving women cancer. Read the warnings.
Amazed June 14, 2012 at 05:38 PM
I find myself falling somewhere in the middle on this one… if a woman has an actual legitimate medical need to be taking birth control then it should be covered by her health insurance as would any other maintenance drug. After all, a valued employee of a religious employer could develop such a condition. If, however, the objective is to enjoy a worry-free good time I’m inclined to suggest you and your partner pay for it yourselves. We always had to.
Leslie Schildgen June 14, 2012 at 07:29 PM
The government mandate will be overturned by the Supreme Court. No worries


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