Group of Kansas Catholics Rally Against Health Care Act Provision

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TOPEKA, Kan. -- The U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the Health Care Reform Law is fueled the fire of a first amendment confrontation at the Kansas State House on Friday.

Thousands gathered for a religious rally organized by four Catholic bishops from the Kansas on the lawn of the state Capitol. Nearly 40 bus loads of people came in from all across the state, most very passionate about religious freedom.

"We are passionate about our faith.  And we are passionate about our great country," rally Emcee Jennie Punswick said.

Organizers say that the rally was in support of support for first amendment rights and a protest over a proposed government mandate they claim forces them to choose between religion and country.

"Whats happening in some cases is you cant obey both," said rally participant Daryl Currie of Kansas City.

The issue is the individual mandate in the Health Care Act they say would force religious organizations to provide health insurance that covers birth control.

Vikki Long Lindemuth, of Topeka says, "It is a war on the Catholic Faith."

"We feel like if people what those things and their own conscious dictates so they then can provide and pay for it themselves.  We shouldn't be forced to pay for those things," Currie added.

But counter-protesters at the rally say it's not a religious fight, it's a woman's choice.

"I believe that when it comes to a womans body its the woman that makes the choice and no one else.   We've done it for the past 50 years, we're back in the fricken 60's again for God sakes,"  said Linda Neville of Kansas City.

"Its a big world, we're all in it together, we should all take care of each other," said Dan Connolly, another counter-protester from Kansas City.

Though rally supporters said they disagreed.

"We're not trying to have a war on women but it appears like the administration trying to start a war on us," said Currie.

While the afternoon remained mostly peaceful with prayer, songs and speeches. Rally participants confronted the small group of counter-protesters over their signs that rally supporters said were offensive.

Topeka police escorted the counter-protestors off the capitol lawn.

Capitol police tell FOX 4 the reason the counter protesters we're asked to leave is because organizers of the rally purchased a permit for the lawn and didn't want the groups signs in sight.

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