CHICAGO
03/29/2012 09:44 am ET Updated May 29, 2012

Faced With Birth Control Mandate, Local Catholics Say Religious Freedom Is At Stake

As the Supreme Court discussed the legality of the Affordable Care Act this week, Catholics gathered in Northbrook to discuss its ramifications to their faith.

At issue is the clash between the Catholic Church's stance on contraception and one of the guidelines of the act championed by President Obama: a provision that would require health insurance providers to cover contraception and sterilization procedures at no cost to the patient. The provision does not exempt employers with a religious affiliation who hire people with diverse religious backgrounds -- like the hundreds of schools and hospitals run by the Catholic Church nationwide. After Catholic bishops spoke out in opposition, Obama said that insurance companies, not religious organizations, would shoulder the cost. But Catholic leaders have not been satisfied with that answer.

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