Group to protest provision in Affordable Care Act

The traffic may be noisy Friday, but the protesters won’t be. They’ll be quiet and still, praying silently in front of the federal courthouse at Fourth Street and Rood Avenue.

At noon Friday, people will gather to protest a mandate added in January to the Affordable Care Act, which would “require most health insurance plans to cover preventive services for women including recommended contraceptive services without charging a co-pay, co-insurance or a deductible,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius reported at the time.

The mandate so far would not exempt religious institutions that oppose such services, and that is at the heart of Friday’s protest, Kate Johnson said.

Johnson is president of Mesa County Right to Life and organized the protest as part of the Nationwide Rally for Religious Freedom, a series of protests from noon to 1 p.m. Friday. Though not an officially sanctioned event, Johnson said, the spirit is the same: to stand up for religious freedom.

“I just felt like we had to do something,” she said. “Sitting at home watching the news isn’t going to do anything. I felt that it was important to be on the sidewalk in front of the courthouse, praying together to see an end to all this.”

She said protesters will pray in silence but will be united in spirit and purpose. “The whole HHS mandate funding seems ironic,” she said. “That a government, especially one such as ours that is by the people, of the people and for the people, would choose to have some of its people removed either through abortion directly or indirectly.”

She said anyone is welcome to attend the rally. For more information, go to or


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