On August 1, when the Department of Health and Human Services’ “contraception mandate” began, members of Women Speak For Themselves (WSFT)-a grassroots women’s religious freedom group-demonstrated in Lafayette Park across from the White House. Though HHS postponed implementation of the mandate for religious non-profits to January 1, 2014, the women of WSFT don’t want anyone to believe that the cause of religious freedom is forgotten. And they don’t want anyone buying the phony message the government is selling (in the words of one of our members, Rachel): that “women care more about free birth control than freedom of religion.”
The 40,000 women of WSFT have many reasons for opposing the mandate. Here are their top five:
1. Women really care about religious freedom.
In the words of pollster George Gallup, Jr.: “A mountain of Gallup survey data attests to the idea that women are more religious than men, hold their beliefs more firmly, practice their faith more consistently, and work more vigorously for the congregation.” (George H. Gallup Jr., Why Are Women More Religious, December 17, 2002.) Furthermore, religion provides a rock solid foundation for women’s radical equality with men. There’s nothing like Genesis’ assurance that women were created to “image God” equally with men, or the New Testament’s account of women’s role in salvation history. Politicians and corporate America pay us intermittent attention when pressured. But the religious case for women’s equality never flags.