GREEN BAY — Some people gathered in Green Bay Friday to rally for religious freedom.
Participants gathered outside of the Brown County Courthouse.
They're trying to stop an insurance mandate from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
In January, officials said all employers should provide plans to workers that include birth control. That would include religious organizations.
The Obama administration has since backed down from the mandate.
In a change to the rule, employees would be offered free coverage directly from their health insurer, but employers would not provide or pay for it.
Religious leaders and community members spoke out against the mandate Friday.
"We have the gift of religious freedom, it's a constitutional right and that's what's being taken away and trampled on by this HHS mandate,” said rally participant Christina Pallini. "If we don't stand up for this and they take our religious freedoms away and force us to do something against our faith, what's next?"
Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services sent us a statement saying:
“Our policy accommodates religious liberty while protecting the health of women. The policy ensures that if a woman works for religious employers with objections to providing contraceptive services as part of its health plan, the religious employer will not be required to provide contraception coverage, but her insurance company will be required to offer contraceptive care free of charge.”
Thousands of people from across the country also took part in rallies Friday. They were held in more than 140 cities, including Madison and Milwaukee.
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