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Rally for Religious Freedom in Bel Air Friday

Bel Air is expected to participate in the nationwide rally.

Nationwide, a rally against that requires employers, including religious institutions, to provide contraceptives to employees through their health care plans, is set for Friday.

Bel Air is among the towns and cities expected to participate, according to the "Stand Up for Religous Freedom" website. The rally begins at noon outside the at 20 West Courtland St.

In January, Catholic leaders in Maryland criticized the Obama administration for implementing the law that requires religious employers to offer health plans covering contraceptives without co-pays or deductibles.

But 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."

Nonprofit and religious employers have until Aug. 1, 2013 to comply with the new law.

“The [Health and Human Services] mandate actually seeks to define what constitutes religious ministry in its narrowly crafted so-called exemption. This sort of government intrusion must be opposed. This is not about the issue of contraception—this is about protecting religious liberty as it is guaranteed in the United States Constitution," Bel Air rally organizer Paula Hoppel said in a press release.

The rally is designed to protest the government's definition of religious institutions, and the requirement that all businesses and "facilitate contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs," despite moral positions, the release states.

The same release contends requiring contraceptives for free in healthcare plans treats of pregnancy and childbirth as a disease.

sp0t March 22, 2012 at 04:43 PM
I guess they didn't get the memo about insurance companies covering contraception when religious institutions are opposed.. ah well. Rally on friends!
Larry March 23, 2012 at 11:04 AM
Why not call it what it really is, a right wing, racist, Republican rally against President Obama. I love Harford county.
Rene March 23, 2012 at 11:33 AM
Your opening sentence betrays your ultra-rightist bent: "Nationwide, a rally against a new law that requires employers, including religious institutions, to provide contraceptives to employees through their health care plans, is set for Friday." It could more farily have referenced a move by the Right to have managers and supervisors pass judgement over whether a woman should engage in contraception or even be reimbursed for related to health issues. Who do you think you are, telling women what to do with their own bodies? Who do you think WE are?? For a movement who's leaders state they want to preseve individual freedoms, this one really shows the mockery of that public position and turns it on its head.
Rene March 23, 2012 at 11:34 AM
Sp0t: Agreed; this is such a smokescreen, a distractor, that I'm amazed at how they increasingly take the public for a pile of fools.
Rene March 23, 2012 at 11:36 AM
Right on. Harford County is actuall supposed to be a part of modern America, not a Sharia-law-level desert sheikdon, all bowing to those with beards...
Karl Schuub March 23, 2012 at 11:51 AM
Why not just remove the part where anybody pays for anybody elses contraception. That isn't health care and contraception is so cheap...forego a couple bags of chips for the month and your basically covered. The smokescreen is pretending religious people have some obligation to forego and set aside a personal belief in homage to an oppressive, overly burdensome, secular government. There is a constitution for that very reason. The problem - the entire controversy could be eliminated by making contraception a personal expense.
JK March 23, 2012 at 12:20 PM
This isn't about healthcare, it is about religious freedom. Today our government is forcing us to pay for contraception, abortion and contraception. Next, we will be forced to abort our own children in the name of "health savings". Only perfect children will be allowed to be born. I don't want to live in that kind of world.
1ke March 23, 2012 at 01:00 PM
Contraception ought to be subsidized by taxes whenever insurance premiums fail to do so--whether because of government action or inaction or corporate decisions. Given the short-term costs of unwanted pregnancy and long-term cost of unwanted, unloved children, how could the taxpayer ever hope to get a bigger bang for the buck? Do religion with your own time and on your own dime.
Grand Dad March 23, 2012 at 01:54 PM
This is a complex issue that has very sharp thorns protruding out which represent personal feelings and beliefs about choices. What ever the outcome is........no one will be satisfied. Typical Politics.
Karl Schuub March 23, 2012 at 02:15 PM
Have sex on your own time and your own dime. Why does the taxpayer owe anybody a box of rubbers?
Don Thomann March 23, 2012 at 02:44 PM
You know what? I've got a problem with my insurance premium paying for some drug addicted loudmouths hearing implant. We all pay for things we may not like as part of being in an insurance pool.
CB9678 March 23, 2012 at 02:53 PM
So I f I raised the sales tax 1 % of imposed a national sales tax to balance the budget of 1% would that be OK with you.....after all it is only a couple pennies? It is not saying cover barriers it is talking about Hormone therapy which has many other medical needs beyond birth control?
CB9678 March 23, 2012 at 02:54 PM
It doesn't and the directive does not deal with that. BTW Hormone therapy is far more effective than the barrier method.
Rene March 23, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Thank you for broadening the discussion. It seems so easily lost that a large percentage of women (of all religions) have used contraceptives---the same percentage as for the general population. What is going on here has more to do with health management than with lustful endeavors (for that, I might look more toward the dispension of Viagra and other "erectile disfunction" prescriptions---covered under health insurance, for some reason, so that men can turn it on when the mood strikes them). What is the percentage of women who used these hormone-regulating medicines for other than mere sexual escapades? One brief report is from the University of Florida Health Science Center (please see: http://news.health.ufl.edu/2012/18504/multimedia/health-in-a-heartbeat/women-taking-birth-control-pills-for-reasons-other-than-contraception/ ). Health reasons include controlling erratic cycles, reducing pain and discomfort, controlling unpleasant side effects, and for controlling endometriosis. Overall, over 50% report using "the Pill" for multiple reasons. They are trying to manage their health care, which in turn reduces everyone's health care costs. The flagrant assumption that these women are looking for, as Limbaugh says, "someone else to pay for their carefree sexual habits," is borne of both ignorance and a mix of voyeuristic illness.
Karl Schuub March 23, 2012 at 04:04 PM
The pill is used primarily for birth control - if otherwise exceptions could be made, but those would be fractional. Anyone who tries to make this about women's health for the few times it's "prescriptional" is using a red herring to disguise a political agenda. Birth control costs a pittance - why can't we make the people who use it responsible for the tiny costs involved in order to allow for those who have real core value objections be enough.
Kraken Attack March 23, 2012 at 05:08 PM
I would of loved it if this many people where outraged about the NDAA Obama signed which gives the President the ability to arrest and imprison anyone suspected of terrorism indefinitely without trial. Outrage about health insurrers having to cover birth control pills and condoms when they already cover viagra is petty.
Karl Schuub March 23, 2012 at 05:23 PM
The affordable care act is neither affordable, nor about care. It is now up to 1.8 trillion from the 900B number deliberately falsified to get it to pass - this isn't about private insurers but Obamacare and what and who is insured because no doubt thier end game is to get us all on government care. If a private insurer covers Viagra that coverage is being paid by private monies - if someone objects they can move on to the next insurer. When the only insurer out there is Mr. Obama suddenly being forced to pool monies for insurance for abortions and birth control bothers people because there's nowhere else to go. By the way I just read where Obamacare will cover sterilizations for coeds as an optional procedure - oh joy...talk about a war on women; to me that seems like a war on humanity. When we have a negative growth population trajectory just who pray tell will pay for all these programs? Deficit is currently hovering around 15 trillion - it'll be 20 trillion in less than 5 years. Those chickens will come home to roost and it won't be pretty. Good lord people; if you can't afford 10 bucks a month for birth control perhaps lay off the sex - we can't afford all of this.
Phil Dirt March 23, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Racist? Your argument lost all validity when you proclaim that any opposition to the President must be because of his color. Tell me, how can we express displeasure with his policies and not be racists? Or is this not possible on Planet Larry?
Phil Dirt March 23, 2012 at 05:25 PM
Viagra restores a function, birth control blocks one. Can you see the difference?
Phil Dirt March 23, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Rene, insurance already covered the use of hormone-regulating medicines for other purposes that involve restoring or regulating the body's normal functions. The same goes for Viagra. Of course, you aren't recommmending discrimination against men when it comes to function-restoring drugs, are you?
Kraken Attack March 23, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Viagra is as unnatural as birth control, males lose testosterone as they age because they shouldn't need to reproduce at the age of sixty. If the women of your congregation that doesn't believe in birth control choose to take it, I'm guessing they don't really believe.
bytheC March 23, 2012 at 10:34 PM
Rene, yep. The Blunt Amendment the Taliban passed in Congress went even further. An employer could deny you healthcare for ANY reason on the grounds of moral beliefs. Talk about rallying against yourself. What a bunch of dupes.
bytheC March 23, 2012 at 10:44 PM
The war on women continues in Bel Air! This isn't about religious freedom at all. It's about the rightwing Taliban wanting to stick their nose in between a women, her insurance company and her doctor. Watch and see how many old, pale, stale males are at the rally wanting to be a part of a women's doctor visit. It's none of their business and women will NOT take this assault sitting down. That's a FACT they can count on. Unite Against the War on Women (Nationwide March) - April 28 (there is one in Baltimore) http://www.wearewomenmarch.net/
JK March 23, 2012 at 10:53 PM
No one is preventing women from obtaining birth control, abortion or sterilization. The issue at hand is "Is it constitutional for the government to make citizens pay for something that they deem morally wrong." NO it is not. It is not up to the federal government to mandate what is covered by health insurance. What if the mandate was that birth control could not be covered by insurance. Would you change your mind?
Lea M March 23, 2012 at 11:44 PM
Hahahahahah. Did any of you actually LOOK at the pics of the rally? I was there, and it was overwhelmingly women, tired of being included in Obamacare's statistics. We do not use birth control, and also, are not the taliban. There were a lot of professional women there. Over 50 children, also,maybe 20 teen girls, who want nothing more than to stand up and be counted for what they are. Strong women or women-to-be, who are against the mandate as it is against the first amendment. They read part of the constitution and took time from studies to rally for something they, and I believe in. We are most assuredly pro-woman, as most of us ARE women! Please get your facts straight before you criticize young people exercising their right to peaceful assembly!
Lea M March 23, 2012 at 11:51 PM
We certainly proved today that we will take this lying down as we protested, the majority of us voting females!!!!!!! I only noticed one or two stale old men in the crowd. :-)
bytheC March 24, 2012 at 12:22 AM
Lea, Faux populism. The majority of women don't want health insurance companies that we PAY telling us what they morally object to. And we vote! What's next? chemo? high blood pressure pills? insulin? I understand that your small crowd does, you are welcome to opt out.
Karl Schuub March 24, 2012 at 12:37 AM
Shhh..I hear crickets; you're ruining the dogma.
Lea M March 24, 2012 at 01:50 AM
We are NOT welcome to opt out, that's why we are rallying. For the right to opt out!
bytheC March 24, 2012 at 02:08 AM
No one is forcing you to use birth control. For health reasons or otherwise. Meanwhile 98% of women of child bearing years have used it. You are in the minority.

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