Chicago Pro-Life Protest Targets Birth Control Coverage

Chicago pro-life and religious groups are planning a protest at Federal Plaza Friday as part of a national day of action to voice objections to the new federal requirements for birth control coverage.

Chicago's Pro-Life Action League is organizing a local gathering as part of the "Nationwide Rally for Religious Freedom." Other demonstrations will be staged across the country.

Despite a recent compromise reached between the Obama administration and Catholic University of America that will allow faith-based institutions to opt out of the coverage requirements, shifting the responsibility to insurers, many religious groups still feel the mandate requiring religious organizations to include birth control coverage in the benefits they provide employees compromises the integrity of their faith.

In a petition circulated by the Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the agency expresses concern that religious groups "will be forced by government to violate their own teachings within their very own institutions."

Organizers say the rally, which begins at noon, is expected to draw about 500 participants and will include guest speakers, though presenter names have not yet been announced. The national Stand Up coalition calls for the nationwide rallies to be "peaceful, family-friendly, non-partisan, ecumenical event[s]."