Archive for the ‘HHS Mandate’ Category

Kansas Congressman and President of National Right to Life to speak at #IStandWithPFL Rally

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

PriestsForLife

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: April 23, 2014

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, today announced that Rep. Tim Huelskamp of Kansas will join the #IStandWithPFL movement at a rally in Washington, D.C. on May 8. Fr. Frank also announced that the President of the National Right to Life Committee, Carol Tobias, has confirmed her attendance as well.

Supporters of religious freedom will gather in front of the U.S. Court of Appeals at 333 Constitution Ave., from 9 to 11 a.m. that day to show support for Priests for Life – and other religious non-profit organizations — in their legal challenge against the unjust contraception mandate. Oral arguments in the case will be heard that morning.

Robert Muise, Chief Counsel for the American Freedom Law Center, also stated, “This case with Priests for Life is the lead case for the non-profit religious organizations challenging the mandate similar to how Hobby Lobby is the lead case for the for-profit companies challenging the HHS mandate.”

A similar lawsuit filed by the Archdiocese of Washington. D.C., on behalf of Catholic University of America and Thomas Aquinas College, among other entities, has been consolidated with the Priests for Life suit. Priests for Life is the lead party.

Along with the congressman and Ms. Tobias, other confirmed speakers include Charmaine Yoest, Americans United for Life; Lila Rose, Live Action; Tim Goeglein, Focus on the Family; Paul Rondeau , American Life League; Sam Casey, Law of Life Project; Sarah Torre, Heritage Foundation; Tina Wittington, Students for Life of America; Jimmy Nolan, Crossroads; and Rev. Rob Schenk, Faith and Action in the Nation’s Capitol.

Father Pavone and Mr. Muise will also speak at the Rally, along with Dr. Alveda King, director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life and a named plaintiff in the suit; Bryan Kemper, director of Youth Outreach, and Father Victor Salomon, director of Hispanic Outreach.

Father Pavone said the support of Congressman Huelskamp is critical. “We have been asking people to stand with Priests for Life as they are standing with Hobby Lobby as the fight against this government overreach continues,” Father Pavone said. “The support of Congressman Huelskamp is very important because it demonstrates that elected officials see the threat to religious liberty that this mandate poses. We are very happy to have Congressman Huelskamp standing with Priests for Life.”

Congressman Huelskamp, a Republican, was elected in November 2010. His commitment to the life issue was evident as early as his post-graduate years at American University, where he met his wife, Angela, and worked with her to assist women facing unexpected pregnancies. The couple are now the proud parents of four adopted children.

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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#IStandWithPFL Rally Planned for May 8

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

PriestsForLife

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: April 2, 2014

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

WHAT: Rally for Religious Freedom
WHERE: U.S. Court of Appeals, 333 Constitution Ave., Washington DC
WHEN: 9 to 11 a.m. Thursday, MAY 8, 2014

NEW YORK, NY — Priests for Life has organized a rally for religious freedom from 9 to 11 a.m. on Thursday, May 8 at the Federal Courthouse at 333 Constitution Ave, Washington, D.C.

On that day, oral arguments will be heard in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on Priests for Life vs. Department of Health and Human Services, the case of Priests for Life against the HHS mandate. Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, and Dr. Alveda King, Director of African-American Outreach, and niece of Martin Luther King, Jr., are two of the named plaintiffs in the suit. They will speak at the rally and attend the oral arguments. Janet Morana, Executive Director of Priests for Life and co-founder of the international Silent No More Awareness Campaign is also a plaintiff.

Joined with the Priests for Life case is also the suit brought against the HHS mandate by the Archdiocese of Washington. The Catholic University of America and Thomas Aquinas College are among the plaintiffs in that case as well.

The rally and a related social media campaign, #IStandWithPFL, is meant to call attention to the fact that the concerns of the religious not-for-profits have not been addressed by the Obama administration’s so-called “accommodation” to faith-based employers.

The oral arguments on May 8 are the first such arguments on the appellate level, on the merits of the case, for the religious non-profit groups challenging the mandate. The recent oral arguments at the Supreme Court for Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood address the rights of businesses in regard to the mandate. A victory in that case would not necessarily resolve the issues being argued on May 8 on behalf of the religious non-profit groups.

Along with Fr. Pavone and Dr. King, other national pro-life and religious liberty leaders also will speak at the rally, as will Robert Muise, Senior Counsel of the American Freedom Law Center, which represents Priests for Life in the lawsuit.

For information or to set up interviews, contact Leslie Palma at media@priestsforlife.org or 347-286-7277. The web page www.IStandWithPFL.com has the most current information about the lawsuit.

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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Supreme Court Declines Further Review of HHS Challenges: Priests for Life Lawsuit in D.C. Circuit Continues

Monday, March 31st, 2014

PriestsForLife

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 31, 2014

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

WASHINGTON, DC – As reported today by Reuters, the Supreme Court has decided not to give an early review to the cases brought by Priests for Life and other Catholic groups (including the Archdiocese of Washington, Catholic University of America, and Thomas Aquinas College) against the HHS mandate.

The groups, whose cases are currently in the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, made use of a special provision that allows an appeal to the Supreme Court, even while the case is in a lower court, provided the “case is of such imperative public importance as to justify deviation from normal appellate practice and to require immediate determination in this Court” (Sup. Ct. R. 11).

The Supreme Court’s decision not to grant early review simply means that the cases will proceed, without prejudice, in the lower federal court. Either the plaintiffs or the defendants may later seek a Supreme Court review, after the outcome.

The oral arguments will take place on May 8, and that this will likely be the first oral argument before a federal appellate court on the merits of the case that the religious non-profits are bringing against the HHS mandate. Robert Muise, Co-Founder and Chief Counsel at the American Freedom Law Center, and General Counsel for Priests for Life, stated, “This case with Priests for Life is the lead case for the non-profit religious organizations challenging the mandate similar to how Hobby Lobby is the lead case for the for-profit companies challenging the HHS mandate.”

Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, stated, “We are working with our attorneys to present the strongest possible case to the Court of Appeals, and at the same time are urging the public to stand with us, just as they are standing with Hobby Lobby. We will certainly appeal to the Supreme Court if the lower court does not rule in our favor. Moreover, no matter what any court says at any time, we will disobey this mandate. It is unjust, immoral, and intolerable.”

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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Priests for Life Case Could Follow Hobby Lobby in Supreme Court: #StandWithPFL Hashtag Launched

Monday, March 31st, 2014

PriestsForLife

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 31, 2014

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK, NY – On March 25, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the Hobby Lobby/Conestoga Wood Specialties case regarding whether for-profit businesses have religious rights to be protected from the HHS mandate. The court is expected to render its decision in June.

Three days later, the Supreme Court considered whether or not to likewise hear a case – Priests for Life vs. Sebelius — concerning how much protection the non-profit religious entities should have from the same mandate.

Many Americans have been led to believe that religious groups like Priests for Life are automatically exempt. That is not the case,” explained Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life. “Churches are exempt, but other non-profit organizations like Priests for Life are still being told to violate our consciences. The government says we just have to sign a form that expresses our objection to the mandate, and then they will arrange for our employees to be covered for the objectionable practices. But that still makes us the gateway to the coverage, and we want no part of that.”

Priests for Life’s lawsuit, filed in February 2012, was one of the first lawsuits to challenge the mandate, and is currently in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. At the same time, an appeal to the Supreme Court has been made, utilizing “Rule 11,” which allows a matter of particular importance to be brought to the Supreme Court even while a lower court is hearing it.

The attorneys at the American Freedom Law Center pointed out that not only does Priests for Life object to the mandate, but the very purpose of the organization is to oppose the kinds of practices the mandate requires groups to cover. Therefore, the ministry is uniquely qualified for a separate review by the Supreme Court; as the petition states, “This challenge goes to the very core of Priests for Life’s reason for existing as an organization.”

Father Pavone said he expects to find out this week if the Supreme Court will review Priests for Life’s case. Regardless of that decision, the case in the appeals court continues. Lawyers for the Obama administration filed another brief on Friday, March 28 and Priests for Life attorneys will respond on April 11. Oral arguments are scheduled for May 8.

Robert Muise, Chief Counsel for the American Freedom Law Center, also stated, “This case with Priests for Life is the lead case for the non-profit religious organizations challenging the mandate similar to how Hobby Lobby is the lead case for the for-profit companies challenging the HHS mandate.”

To keep up with the Priests for Life lawsuit and the petition to the Supreme Court, go to www.StandwithPFL.com Priests for Life also has launched a social media campaign using the hashtag #StandWithPFL.

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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An ongoing conversation with someone on the fence…

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

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“Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.” Romans 12:19 ESV

In response to yesterday’s blog regarding the HHS mandate and how it is wrong to force Christians to comply with socialist policies, someone wrote me the reply below. My answer follows. I have a feeling that this will become an ongoing conversation…

It may be that the young lady who wrote to me is a confused feminist, like many women are today. Misplaced anger and misplaced compassion are being fueled by a need for vengeance against the wrongs and atrocities committed against women. This seesaw has been going on in America since slavery days, and also the suffragette movement. It is a spiritual battle.

Of course being granted the right to vote; to own property; to work and receive equal pay as males; to be able to make healthy choices regarding female fertility; Constitutional Rights; all of these are genuine human and civil rights. But why did we go wrong, including deadly carcinogenic birth control methods and the killing of little human babies in mothers’ wombs as part of the feminist package?

We slipped into seeking vengeance and not justice. God help us!

Tomorrow the SCOTUS will hear the PFL HHS Mandate case. Our case is in the appeals process in the DC Circuit court. While the appeal works its way through the appeals process, which can be a lengthy undertaking, we have petitioned the SCOTUS to take up the case because of its “imperative public importance.”

Now, here’s that conversation with CC.

Dear Dr. Alveda, this (the perspective on why the HHS mandate is wrong) really seems wrong on every level. I think the gov’t and the organizations are trying and failing to do something that not even God attempts – to remove our free will. Conservatives and Christians should spend more time and resources educating people on how to make informed decisions and less effort in trying to legislate morality because the end result is the same despite the motivation. Forcing people’s hands equates to slavery and is wrong, it is wrong to force people who are ill equipped to become parents and it is wrong to force people who oppose abortions to fund them. I say make abortions legal but educate people from a very young age why it is the worst solution. an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. hobby lobby should have family appreciation days and celebrate life, let their customers sell their crafts at hobby lobby flea markets and moneys collected could go to educational training programs or teen jobs or something. taking away rights in a broken system without replacing it with something better is unfortunately worse…. CC

Dear CC, Well, would you also suggest to make all forms of robbery, rape, murder and all of that legal and simply educate people at an early age about how bad all of that is? Because some may think that it isn’t fair to make someone go to jail for murdering people just because it is wrong. Sometimes, people feel that they have very good reasons for stealing, killing, lying and all of that. This is often the case of abortions, many of which are the result of coercion from third parties. Many women don’t want to abort their babies, yet they are dragged to the abortion mills by parents, lovers, and others. Also, what about those women who are forced to abort because of one child policies, or because a third party doesn’t want an ethnically blended relative? Abortion is harmful on so many levels. After all, abortion not only kills babies, but sometimes mothers as well. Just asking. Love, Dr. Alveda

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Religious Freedom is a Civil and Human Right!

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

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“There is a difference between killing the poor and serving the poor.” Father Frank Pavone, Priests for Life

UPDATE

Monday I did an interview on Airing the Addisons with Wil and Meeke discussing the HHS Mandate and Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods. Click HERE to listen to that show.

This week at the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) involves the lives of every American: yet many are unaware.

Yesterday the SCOTUS heard arguments for two cases, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods, regarding their lawsuits against the HHS Mandate. Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, led prayers with other pro-life leaders and religious freedom advocates at a rally in front of the Supreme Court Building in support of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods. Planned Parenthood and others they will be bussing in to rally in favor of the HHS Mandate.

The irony now is that during the oral arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday on whether the contraceptive mandate in the Affordable Care Act violates the free exercise of religion, Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan suggested that employers who have moral objections to birth control should not provide health care coverage for their employees. They even recommended that employers opt to pay taxes to avoid the mandate and even give employees a $2K raise to buy their own insurance. Does this sound like a socialist agenda?

This is an important question for human and civil rights advocates because much is at stake regarding the Constitutional rights of religious freedom for every American.

Yet another case deals with infringement against religious freedom of non-profit companies. In our Priests for Life case, I join Fr. Frank Pavone, and Janet Morana as parties to our HHS lawsuit; actually the third in a series filed against the HHS Mandate. The irony is the HHS Mandate seeks to force Priests for Life, an organization that teaches that contraception and abortions are dangerous, life threatening and immoral, to pay for, directly or indirectly, the very injustice that we are fighting against.

Our case is in the appeals process in the DC Circuit court. While the appeal works its way through the appeals process, which can be a lengthy undertaking, we have petitioned the SCOTUS to take up the case because of its “imperative public importance.” That petition will be heard later this week, on Friday, March 28.

Please pray that the SCOTUS will make the right decisions and rule in favor of the Hobby Lobby/Conestga Woods case; that the HHS Mandate is unconstitutional and pray that the SCOTUS agrees that our PFL case is of such “imperative public importance” that it decides to take up the case and give a favorable ruling.

These legal matters raise civil and human rights issue. It is an injustice to rule on the side of death dealing agents such as carcinogenic fertility blockers. My Uncle M.L. fought for civil rights over 50 years ago and the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act is coming up later this year. Yet, in 2014 our government is working against our liberties.

May God have mercy and help us, because: CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS, LIKE CIVIL RIGHTS, ARE WORTH FIGHTING FOR!

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CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS, LIKE CIVIL RIGHTS, ARE WORTH FIGHTING FOR!

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Yesterday I did an interview on Airing the Addisons with Wil and Meeke discussing the HHS Mandate and Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods. Click HERE to listen to that show.

Supreme-court-building

This week is a busy one for the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) and it involves every American: yet many are unaware.

Today the SCOTUS will hear arguments on two cases, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods, regarding their lawsuits against the HHS Mandate. Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, is gathering with other pro-life leaders and religious freedom advocates for a rally from 10:00-11:30 am in front of the Supreme Court Building in support of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods. Gathered there as well will be Planned Parenthood and others they will be bussing in to rally in favor of the HHS Mandate.

This is an important day for human and civil rights because much is at stake regarding the Constitutional rights of religious freedom for every American.

Yet another case deals with infringement against religious freedom of non-profit companies. In our Priests for Life case, I join Fr. Frank Pavone, and Janet Morana as parties of our HHS lawsuit; actually the third in a series filed against the HHS Mandate. The irony is the HHS Mandate seeks to force Priests for Life, an organization that teaches that contraception and abortions are dangerous, life threatening and immoral, to pay for, directly or indirectly, the very injustice that we are fighting against.

Our case is in the appeals process in the DC Circuit court. While the appeal works its way through the appeals process, which can be a lengthy undertaking, we have petitioned the SCOTUS to take up the case because of its “imperative public importance.” That petition will be heard later this week, on Friday, March 28.

Please pray that the SCOTUS will make the right decisions and rule in favor of the Hobby Lobby/Conestga Woods case; that the HHS Mandate is unconstitutional and pray that the SCOTUS agrees that our case is of such “imperative public importance” that it decides to take up the case and give a favorable ruling.

These legal matters raise civil and human rights issue. It is an injustice to rule on the side of death dealing agents such as carcinogenic fertility blockers. My Uncle M.L. fought for civil rights over 50 years ago and the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act is coming up later this year. Yet, in 2014 our government is working against our liberties.

May God have mercy and help us, because: CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS, LIKE CIVIL RIGHTS, ARE WORTH FIGHTING FOR!

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Fr. Pavone to Pray and Speak at Supreme Court on Tuesday

Monday, March 24th, 2014

Priests for Life awaits response from Court re HHS Mandate

Priests for Life

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 24, 2014

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

WASHINGTON, DC – Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, will join other Americans concerned about the right to life and religious freedom at a rally in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday morning, March 25, when the Court will hear oral arguments in regard to the HHS Mandate. Further Supreme Court action on this matter is expected on the 28th in regard to Priests for Life.

The rally for religious freedom will take place from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. ET.

Planned Parenthood is also expected to bring people to rally in favor of the mandate.

The oral arguments in the consolidated cases of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods will begin inside the court at 10 a.m. and conclude at 11:30 a.m.

Priests for Life has been urging people to join a novena of prayer during these days for the reversal of the mandate. The prayers for each day can be found at www.PrayerCampaign.org.

“This is a moment of Biblical proportions,” Fr. Pavone explained. “Scripture, and all Christian history, are filled with moments of conflict between civil authority and people of faith. At every point, those people are called to obey God rather than man.

“We at Priests for Life also have a lawsuit against this mandate, and in fact were among the first to file one. We too have a petition to the Supreme Court to hear our case, and the Justices will consider whether they will do so this Friday, March 28,” Fr. Pavone commented. “The case being heard on Tuesday concerns the rights of for-profit businesses; in our case, the Court would be considering the rights of non-profit religious entities. Obviously, the Court eventually needs to address both.”

In its petition to the Supreme Court on behalf of Priests for Life, the American Freedom Law Center points out, “this challenge goes to the very core of Priests for Life’s reason for existing as an organization. Consequently, Petitioners are well situated—and perhaps best suited—to challenge the mandate and its application to non-exempt, nonprofit religious organizations.” The Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has also consolidated the case brought by the Archdiocese of Washington and its related institutions together with that of Priests for Life.

Fr. Pavone concluded, “In the end, the matter is simple: We love our faith; we love our country, and we want to be able to do both at the same time.”

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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Decision Expected Soon on Priests for Life’s Petition to Bring HHS Challenge to Supreme Court

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Priests for Life

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 20, 2014

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK, NY — Priests for Life will likely know by the end of the month if the U.S. Supreme Court will review its challenge to the contraceptives mandate in the Affordable Care Act.

“Our petition for review with the Supreme Court is scheduled to go to conference on Friday, March 28,” said Robert Muise, co-founder and senior counsel of the American Freedom Law Center. “We will likely know the outcome within a couple of days.”

The Supreme Court has already agreed to hear the case against the HHS mandate on behalf of for-profit business corporations. If the petition of Priests for Life is successful, it would bring before the Court the question of how the mandate impacts religious, not-for-profit groups.

“We’re hopeful that our case will be accepted because our objections to this unjust mandate stem not only from our personal convictions, but from the very purpose of our organization,” Fr. Pavone explained.

Father Pavone noted that if the Supreme Court denies the petition, it would not impact the Priests for Life lawsuit currently in the D.C. Circuit, and the organization would still be able to seek review in the Supreme Court after the circuit court rules.

“As we have said since this unjust mandate was announced more than two years ago, we will not obey it and we are confident we will prevail in court,” Father Pavone said.

Find out more details about the Priests for Life case at www.priestsforlife.org/HHSMandate

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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Priests for Life Takes HHS Mandate to Supreme Court!

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Priests for Life

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 11, 2014

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, made the following announcement today:

“Priests for Life has taken the next step in our appeal to the US Supreme Court regarding the HHS mandate. Our response to the government’s objection to our appeal has been sent to the Court, and the Justices will decide, likely in a matter of days, whether to hear our case.

“Our lawsuit is still on appeal in the Circuit Court in Washington DC, but in matters of particular public urgency, the law permits an appeal to the Supreme Court, even before the lower courts have finished hearing the case.

“Our reply brief was submitted through the American Freedom Law Center, and we are grateful to our attorneys, Robert Muise and David Yerushalmi, for their expertise and their continued commitment to this cause.

“As our reply brief states,

‘To ignore the gravity of the moral dilemma caused by the mandate, which is affecting countless lives (and souls), the uncertainty surrounding its enforcement, and the costs and burdens caused by this uncertainty is to ignore reality.’

“The Supreme Court has already agreed to hear arguments regarding the HHS mandate as applied to businesses, like Hobby Lobby. Inevitably, the court will also have to resolve the problem the mandate presents to religious groups, whose rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act are even less disputed. Therefore, we are asking them to resolve that issue now.

“As our brief also points out,

‘Moreover, what makes review of this case particularly compelling is the fact that this challenge goes to the very core of Priests for Life’s reason for existing as an organization. Consequently, Petitioners are well situated—and perhaps best suited—to challenge the mandate and its application to non-exempt, nonprofit religious organizations.’

“We continue to join in prayer and solidarity with the many other plaintiffs who have lawsuits against the mandate, and with all our supporters, on whose help we continue to rely. We will celebrate the victory together!”

Find out more details about the Priests for Life case at www.priestsforlife.org/HHSMandate.

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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