Residents rally for religious freedom

By WEEK Producer

March 23, 2012 Updated Oct 26, 2013 at 3:48 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- A large group of local residents are standing up for religious freedom.

That was the theme of this rally in front of the Peoria County Courthouse Friday.

The goal is to urge the government to drop its contraception mandate on employers. It requires them to provide contraceptives and abortion drugs through their health care plans, regardless of religious beliefs.

It's a requirement Bishop Daniel Jenky with the Catholic Diocese said they will fight.

"The issue assure you that every catholic I bump into, even falling away ones, is that they're asking us to pay for the morning after pill," said Bishop Daniel Jenky. "We can't do it, period. We'll fight that even if we have to close down every institution we have, and imagine in a $13 billion, broke state of Illinois what that would mean. We don't get a dime to run our schools."

Friday's rally was one of more than 100 nationwide opposing the mandate.

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