500 Rally for Religious Freedom in NYC

On Friday, 40 demonstrators from Rockland joined over 500 New Yorkers who assembled at Federal Hall on Wall Street in NYC, to rally for Religious Freedom and protest the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act.

News team for Channel 12 interviews Father Fredy Patino at St. Francis Church in West Nyack, the boarding site for the bus to the rally in NYC.

The ACA contains a mandate that requires all employers — including religious schools and hospitals — to provide health insurance for their employees that covers contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs. There is an exemption, but it’s so narrow that most religious institutions would not qualify.

Currently, 43 Catholic groups — including dioceses, colleges, and healthcare agencies — have filed lawsuits against the mandate because “it entails an element of government coercion against conscience,” according to the  US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Fr. Fredy, from St. Peter’s in Haverstraw, leads the group in prayer during the trip.

“This is such a vital issue,” Rockland’s Eileen Peterson, president of the Rockland County Catholic Coalition, told The Christian Post. “Never in the history of the United States of America have we ever been forced to violate core beliefs in our conscience by any government, so this is huge. If we do not take a stand now, then we will have nothing to stand for.”

Tom Fabry, also of Rockland, said he believes the Supreme Court, which is reviewing the ACA, will rule that it is unconstitutional. Nevertheless, he said, “America better wake up . . . Every year there are approximately 50 million babies killed through abortion worldwide. That’s a billion every 20 years. And that doesn’t count the ones that are killed by the different types of pills.”

At the NYC rally, Rockland prolifer Richard Bruno holds a sign asking for prayers for women wounded by abortion.

The speakers at the New York rally included Alveda King of Priests for Life, Dr. Anne Nolte of the Gianna Healthcare Center for Women, Christopher Bell of Good Counsel Homes, Edward Mechmann of the Archdiocese of New York, and Maria McFadden Maffucci of the Human Life Foundation.

Over 75,000 attended Stand Up for Religious Freedom rallies in 164 cities on Friday.

Read more: Americans Stand Up for Religious Freedom on Bill of Rights Anniversary.