Hundreds gathered Friday at Hemming Plaza downtown for a Stand Up For Religious Freedom rally.
Patrick McGovern is one of many who attended the rally, which was to draw attention to a mandate from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that requires employers to provide free contraceptives, surgical sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs through their employee health care plans.
"Abortion is murder, pure and simple, whether you do it with a pill or a scalpel," McGovern said.
It's a mandate the ralliers say directly conflicts with their religious freedom as outlined in the First Amendment.
"People of faith who consider these sorts of procedures immoral do not want to be forced to provide them," rally organizer Diane Royal said.
Jessica Munoz agrees. She's a catholic and works in the medical field.
"We are certainly asking to be exempt from having to purchase something that we just don't believe in," said Munoz, a physician's assistant.
With the Supreme Court expected to rule on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act later this month, ralliers hope their efforts have come at just the right time to make an impact in Washington D.C.
"We will not tolerate big government taking away our basic religious freedoms," McGovern said.
Similar rallies were held in dozens of U.S. cities Friday.
The White House and Planned Parenthood did not respond to emails seeking comment.