August 01, 2013

Women Speak for Themselves TODAY!

Today, in Washington: a rally! a protest! a demonstration!

Women Speak For Themselves, a movement born in response to the unjust (and frankly unconstitutional) HHS Contraceptive Mandate, is holding a rally in Lafayette Squarefrom 11:30-12:30 today!

The HHS postponed implementation of the mandate for religious non-profits to January 1, 2014, but the women of WSFT are not satisfied with the "compromises" offered by the White House (they are nothing of the sort), and don’t want anyone to believe that the cause of religious freedom is forgotten. If you can't join the rally, please consider signing the letter, and joining in prayer!

There's been some great articles in response to this, which I wanted to share with all of you:
The government and its supporters’ tone and messaging on the mandate is insulting: “we are the only voice for women’s health,” “the mandate is scientifically supported,” “religious freedom is secured.” Birth control is obviously legal and widely available. Reams of literature (and lawsuits) and the testimonies of women point to the risks of some contraceptives and of the sexually uncommitted lifestyle. The manufacturers of “morning after” pills acknowledge that they really can act to kill embryos sometimes. The “scientific report” underlying the mandate was advised mostly by “experts” associated with Planned Parenthood or its former research affiliate. And we understand that coercing religious employers to violate their consciences is coercive, period.
- Helen Alvare, J.D., and Meg MacDonnell 
Washington Post

Catholic institutions are not seeking to limit the freedom of those who participate in things which we understand to be morally problematic. What we are asking for is the space to provide education, health care, and social services in accord with our conscience so that we can enrich the common good – something that our nation, until recently, has celebrated and welcomed. For centuries, Americans have seen thousands of Catholics build and run schools and hospitals to take care of the poor, under-educated, and marginalized. To restrict the ability of Catholics to continue this vital work would be a disservice to the entire nation. Our witness has always been one that does not seek to provide options that serve as band-aids to physical and interior wounds – like contraception, abortion, and sterilization – but instead provides comprehensive and holistic attention and care for those who, according to Pope Francis are craving “the gaze of Jesus.”
- Elise Italiano

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