Nationwide Rally for Religious Freedom Reaches Abilene

Dozens of people rallied at the Taylor County Courthouse Saturday afternoon, standing up for their religious freedoms and values.

For some it was about changing the present, and for others, it was about setting an example for the future.

"It's a nationwide event and there are several people today and over 300 rallies nationwide today," said event co-chair, Esmeralda Delacruz.

The rallies hope to inform people about the current HHS mandate, which enforces private health care institutions to carry women's contraceptives. 

"It's gonna impede on  a lot of the religious communities, charities, organizations. Imposing fines on them, causing them to pay for things they don't agree with," Delacruz explained. "So we're letting them know that we're opposed to that."

Although the Catholic community has actively stood against the HHS mandate, Saturday's rally was about much more than just one faith.

"It's every religion, if you can't stand up for what you believe in and you can't practice in our country, then it's not considered a freedom," Delacruz said.

For Jessica Ybarra, a 20-year-old mother, it's that freedom that she fights for today.

"That's the beauty about living in America. It's that you have the right to do what you want to do," Ybarra said. "And getting this opposed to us isn't really giving us the religious freedom that we all want here in America."

Ybarra attended the rally not just for herself, but also for Jett -- her 2-year-old son. She hopes to instill her religious values in him at a young age so that one day he too will stand for what he believes in.

For now, Ybarra encourages the youth to come together.

"If we don't stand up and fight for it, then who will. We can't always just rely on other people to do it," she said.

With rallies ongoing across the nation, some exceeding 125,000 participants, who knows what the result may be.

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