By Fox 8 Reporter Brittany Harris
CLEVELAND – A special mass was held downtown to not only celebrate the 4th of July, but also to educate church members about a new law that Catholic leaders say impacts their religious beliefs.
The law they’re talking about is a part of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. It requires religious institutions along with other employers to provide free contraception coverage for their employees.
The federal mandate takes effect next year.
The policy isn’t sitting well with many Catholics, including Bishop Alexander Quinn. He talked about the issue during Thursday’s mass.
“It seems to me what they’re saying is you can be free to be what you want, but not to live it,” he said.
Supporters like Planned Parenthood see it differently. The organization believes all women deserve access to this kind of coverage.
Bishop Quinn isn’t convinced this is a done deal. He’s confident things can change.
“There’s still some time to talk and still some room for movement, so we hope for the best,” he said.
Several religious groups have filed appeals to get exempt from the law. There’s no telling whether they’ll have any success.