Archive for the ‘HHS Mandate’ Category

Priests for Life Asks Supreme Court to Hear Obamacare Challenge

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Priests for Life

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: January 27, 2014

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK, NY — Priests for Life has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review its challenge to the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive services mandate.

Attorneys from the American Freedom Law Center have invoked a special rule of the Supreme Court to ask for a review even before there has been a ruling on the challenge from the United States Court of Appeals. The petition says the case is of such “imperative public importance” that it requires an immediate ruling from the Supreme Court.

Specifically, the petition asks whether the contraceptive services mandate of the Affordable Care Act as applied to non-exempt, nonprofit religious organizations, such as Priests for Life, violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

In the petition, Robert Muise, American Freedom Law Center co-founder and senior counsel, noted that the Court this term will hear a challenge to the mandate filed by owners of for-profit businesses who claim their free exercise of religion is violated by the mandate. Because the mandate also applies to non-exempt faith-based non-profits, “it will serve the public interest by having this matter resolved immediately for all affected parties.”

Muise also said the Priests for Life suit, filed on behalf of the organization; its National Director, Father Frank Pavone; Executive Director, Janet Morana, and Director of African-American Outreach, Dr. Alveda King, is “uniquely situated to advance this important challenge.”

The petition notes that Priests for Life — one of the first groups to sue against the HHS mandate — is particularly well-suited to launch such a lawsuit. Not only does the mandate violate its religious freedom, as is true of so many other religious organizations, employers, and businesses, but in this case the organization exists precisely to fight the evils that the mandate seeks to expand.

Priests for Life was founded in 1991 “to spread … the Catholic Church’s position and central teaching regarding the value and inviolability of human life.” Contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients are all instruments of the culture of death, the petition declares, “and their use can never be approved, endorsed, facilitated, promoted, or supported in any way. Thus, this challenge goes to the very core of Priests for Life’s corporate raison d’être.”

“The contraceptive services mandate has been challenged by many religious non-profits, with varying outcomes,” Father Pavone said. “Clearly the Supreme Court will have to rule on one or more of these challenges, and we believe the Priests for Life case cuts right to the heart of the matter. Whatever the outcome, we cannot and will not obey this mandate. We decide how to practice our religion. The government does not decide for us.”

To follow the history and progress of our case, visit 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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Alveda King: Emergency Injunction To Stop HHS Mandate Enforcement Against Priests for Life Was “An Answer To Prayer”

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Priests for Life

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: January 8, 2014

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

ATLANTA – Dr. Alveda King, full-time director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life, said “the 11th hour emergency injunction that temporarily relieves our ministry from the loathsome yoke of the contraception mandate contained in the Affordable Care Act was an answer to prayer.”

Likening the intervention to “a wakeup call akin to what my uncle Dr. King described in his A KNOCK AT MIDNIGHT experience,” Dr. King describes the urgently pressing need to resist the HHS Mandate.

Priests for Life learned at 5 p.m. Dec. 31, just hours before its new insurance policy was to take effect, that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit had granted the injunction, which will remain in place while the appeal of Priests for Life’s lawsuit against the mandate is heard.

Dr. King, along with Priests for Life National Director Father Frank Pavone and Executive Director Janet Morana, are named as plaintiffs in the suit.

“As a Catholic ministry, Priests for Life opposes the use of contraception, as well as ‘morning-after’ contraception that acts as an abortifacient, and sterilization,” she explained. While she is not Catholic, she also opposes these products and services because they are part of the “contraceptive mentality” that allows the destruction of more than a million unborn children a year, and because they are unhealthy for women.

“For many years we have been crying out for justice for the babies in the womb, for their mothers who are harmed by abortion, and their fathers and the whole community. To force us to participate in a mandate that is totally opposed to everything we believe in would be very egregious to me,” Dr. King said. “I was harmed by abortion. I have children who were killed by abortion and by harmful contraception. This injunctive relief is vital to our ministry, and couldn’t have come at a better time.”

Noting that 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, Dr. King said she believes this year will mark “a significant turning point for righteousness and justice.”

She is inviting all who will be in Washington, D.C., for the Jan. 22 March for Life, to join her at the 20th annual National Memorial for the Pre-Born and Their Mothers and Fathers.

“We will be praying for an end to the terrible scourge of abortion, and praying that the religious freedom guaranteed to every American is not stripped from us,” Dr. King said.

The National Memorial will take place from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 22 at the DAR Constitution Hall, 1776 D St. NW. For information, go to NationalPrayerService.com

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 Wins Emergency Relief From the Unjust HHS Mandate

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Priests for Life

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: December 31, 2013

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

WASHINGTON, D.C. –4:58 pm An emergency injunction granted just moments ago in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit means that Priests for Life will not have to obey the contraception mandate contained in the Affordable Care Act as its appeal is being heard. It also means that, the day after tomorrow, Priests for Life will not have to cancel health insurance for its employees.

Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, said he is grateful his organization is free, temporarily at least, from having to comply with the unjust mandate or face steep fines by failing to comply when the ministry’s new insurance policy goes into effect on Wednesday.

“We would not have complied with this mandate in any case, as it promotes the very culture of death that Priests for Life works to combat,” Father Pavone said. “We are grateful for this temporary relief and look forward to a permanent injunction once the appeal is fully heard.”

“Our lawsuit was among the very first ones in the country and the necessity to launch it shows that religious freedom in America is in grave danger. We have to take action.”

On Dec. 19, Priests for Life learned that the judge in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia had ruled in favor of the government. Within an hour Priests for Life filed for the emergency injunction that was granted today.

Father Pavone said that what the Obama administration has tried to do through the HHS mandate – which he called a “blatant act of tyranny” – is to give the federal government the power to determine what is and what isn’t important in an individual’s religion; that is not the government’s role.

Father Pavone concluded, “There have already been significant victories in the courts against the HHS mandate, and we have no doubt that Priests for Life ultimately will prevail in this historic fight.”

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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Fr. Pavone: ‘We will not obey this mandate’ Priests for Life files appeal after Obamacare lawsuit dismissed

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Priests for Life

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: December 19, 2013

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK – Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, issued the following statement today after learning that Priests for Life’s lawsuit against the HHS contraception mandate was dismissed by a judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

“Today, the judge in our case in District Court in Washington D.C. ruled against us regarding the HHS mandate. Because the mandate would go into effect for us on January 1, we filed, within an hour of the judge’s decision, an emergency request with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit, to provide an injunction to maintain the status quo, protecting us from the mandate until our appeal to the same court can be heard and decided.

“The judge’s decision today is a complete contradiction to Judge Cogan’s decision of just a few days ago in New York for organizations situated similarly to us and using exactly the same arguments.

“The New York decision recognized that the religious nonprofits were being forced to cooperate with evil. Our judge, instead, claims that we are not being forced to cooperate with evil. Our judge’s decision is wrong, and we are confident of victory in our appeal.

“Meanwhile, injunction or not, we will absolutely not obey, cooperate with, or tolerate in any way this unjust mandate. As Scripture says, we will obey God rather than men.”

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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Fr. Pavone: “We, too, are confident of victory”

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Priests for Life

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: December 17, 2013

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK — Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, issued the following statement after learning that Catholic groups in New York have won their battle against Obamacare’s contraception mandate.

“This is a victory for religious freedom and all people of faith,” said Father Pavone. “The fact that the judge found that the ‘coercive pressure’ to make these Catholic employers violate their foundational beliefs was ‘substantial’ should not be overlooked. This battle is not about contraception. It’s about the government trying to deny citizens the right to practice their faith, in violation of the very principles on which this country stands.”

Father Pavone noted that a decision in Priests for Life’s lawsuit against the mandate is expected any day. The Priests for Life case was heard Dec. 9 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Priests for Life filed the fourth of dozens of lawsuits filed to challenge the government’s overt violation of the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

“We, too, are confident of victory,” Father Pavone said

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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HHS Mandate Offense Hits Home in a Personal Way

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

131211 blog image

Yesterday was International Human Rights Day, and yet Priests for Life is embroiled in a legal battle to end a serious infraction against the human rights of women and babies. The Priests for Life HHS Mandate lawsuit which includes plaintiffs Fr. Frank Pavone, Janet Morana, and myself is timely, and it’s necessary. The Mandate is personally offensive because my own constitutional rights are being violated. It’s unfair to require that PFL, the company that I work for pay into a program that will subsidize abortion, easy access to abortion, as well as harmful chemical contraceptives and surgical contraceptive procedures.

I personally am a victim of Planned Parenthood and abortion. I was tricked. I believed the propaganda through Planned Parenthood that a baby was just a blob of tissue and that it was the safest procedure for a woman, even safer than giving birth. When I was a young woman I believed that.

I also believed that it was a woman’s right to choose what she does with her own body and I still believe that. But I know now, today, that the baby is not her body.

And so I ended up with severe medical conditions based upon the abortions and the harmful contraceptive process that I partook of during my younger years. I have experiences a condition called phlebitis which involves blood clotting from the hormonal manipulations of the birth control process. And I had problems with my breasts, or mammary system based upon complications of the abortions and contraceptives as well. Which is why it is so offensive to inadvertently face being forced to end up paying into an insurance program that can harm other women. It is very stressful to me, very disturbing to me, very offensive to me.

Co-defendants Fr. Frank Pavone and Janet Morana were in District Court in Washington, DC yesterday for a hearing on our case. We are now awaiting a ruling from the judge. Shannon Bream of Fox News Channel covered the hearing and her report ran on Special Report with Bret Baier. Click HERE to watch and read the report.

We know that this horrible HHS Mandate is an enemy to the human rights of all Americans and indeed all human beings. As my colleague Bryan Kemper said:

“Today, Dec 10th, is International Human Rights Day. If you support the systematic slaughter of innocent human persons in their mother’s womb then you have no right celebrating this day. Human rights are not something a court or governing body has the right to arbitrarily give and take away, they are endowed upon us by our creator. To take part in human rights day, you must stand against the holocaust that is filling the streets of our world with the blood of the most vulnerable and innocent humans of all: our pre-born human children.”

Finally, I agree with my colleague and co-plaintiff Janet Morana, who along with Father Pavone demands that we RECALL ABORTION and say no to the HHS Mandate.

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Priests for Life expecting decision on challenge to HHS mandate

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Priests for Life

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: December 9, 2013

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Priests for Life case against the HHS mandate was heard today in U.S. District Court here. Father Frank Pavone, National Director, and Janet Morana, Executive Director, were present in the courtroom. Upon leaving court, they issued the following statement:

“We expect a decision in this case very soon, possibly by the end of this week. Whatever the outcome, this much is clear: The government under this administration is trampling upon the rights of the Church. They are trying to tell us what does or does not constitute a burden on our faith. We ask all to pray along with us that the judge will do the right thing.”

Dr. Alveda King, full-time pastoral associate of Priests for Life and the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., is also a plaintiff in this case.

With a ruling imminent, Priests for Life’s will be among the first cases to receive a ruling on the merits of the arguments as applied to religious groups.

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 to Have its Day in Court!

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Priests for Life

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 5, 2013

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Priest for Life’s legal challenge to the HHS mandate will be on the docket Monday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.
Priests for Life’s attorneys from the American Freedom Law Center and attorneys for the Obama administration are asking the court to decide on the constitutionality of the HHS mandate.

Plaintiffs in the case are Priests for Life as well as individual plaintiffs Fr. Frank Pavone, Janet Morana, and Dr. Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Priests for Life contends that forcing the ministry to authorize coverage for contraception, abortifacient drugs and sterilization services to the participants and beneficiaries of its healthcare plan is a violation of its constitutional right to religious freedom and of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

“With this mandate contained in the Affordable Care Act, the government is not only violating our religious beliefs; they are also taking it upon themselves to tell us what the boundaries of those religious beliefs are. It is not up to the government to tell us when our conscience hurts; on the contrary, it’s up to us as believers to tell the government.”

Father Pavone is confident in the outcome of this case, and the judgment, which is expected before January 1, when the Priests for Life insurance plan is renewed, could be among the very first judgments rendered for religious non-profits on the merits of the arguments.

According to Robert Muise, American Freedom Law Center co-founder and senior counsel, “The question for the court on Monday is not whether compliance with the contraception mandate can be reconciled with the teachings of the Catholic Church. That’s a question of religious conscience for the plaintiffs, and they have concluded that their legal and religious obligations are incompatible. Consequently, the contraception mandate forces them to do what their religion tells them they must not do in direct violation of the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.”

Father Pavone and Janet Morana, Executive Director of Priests for Life, will travel to D.C. Monday to be in the courtroom and will be available for comment.

As he has said since filing the initial lawsuit in February 2012 – the fourth to be filed against the mandate – Father Pavone reiterated that, regardless of the judge’s findings, “We will not obey this mandate. We do not adapt to injustice. We oppose it.”

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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Fr. Pavone: A good day for religious liberty!

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Priests for Life

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: November 26, 2013

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK, NY – Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, issued the following statement about the Supreme Court’s decision to hear challenges to the Affordable Care Act’s HHS mandate.

“It’s a good day for religious liberty. The U.S. Supreme Court decision to hear lawsuits brought by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties against the HHS mandate means this unjust requirement will get a full airing.

“We are watching this case with great interest at Priests for Life, since we also have filed suit against the mandate. Its so-called accommodation for religious employers was, in reality, no accommodation at all.”

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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ACLU Asks Federal Court to File “Friend of the Court” Brief in Support of Obama Administration’s Contraception Mandate

Friday, October 25th, 2013

AFLC Logo

For Immediate Release
October 23, 2013

Contact: Robert Muise, Esq.
rmuise@aflc.us
(734) 635-3756

Washington, D.C. (October 23, 2013) — The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which bills itself as the “nation’s guardian of liberty,” filed a motion in D.C. federal court on Monday, asking that the court grant it permission to submit a “friend of the court” brief in favor of the recently announced regulations enforcing the Obamacare contraceptive services mandate against religious organizations. In the case at issue, Priests for Life, a New York-based Catholic organization, its National Director, Father Frank Pavone, and two Priests for Life employees, including Dr. Alveda King, the niece of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., have challenged the contraception mandate, which requires certain non-exempt religious employers to provide insurance plans that promote and facilitate the use of contraceptives, abortifacients, and related services.

Even though two of the plaintiffs in the case, including Dr. King, are women, the ACLU is arguing that forcing religious organizations to abide by the mandate – even in violation of their sincerely held religious beliefs – would promote gender equality and prevent discrimination against female employees. The ACLU motion, which purports to argue for “gender equality,” does not explain why women who have religious objections to the Obamacare contraception mandate are not deserving of the First Amendment’s religious liberty protections.

The American Freedom Law Center (AFLC), a national nonprofit Judeo-Christian law firm, which is representing the plaintiffs, filed an opposition late yesterday to the ACLU’s motion, arguing that it is facially deficient and meritless, in part because the ACLU seeks to intercede on behalf of the Obama administration, which, through the Department of Justice and its army of lawyers, has already mounted a vigorous defense of the mandate. In addition, AFLC pointed out that ACLU’s notorious pro-abortion and anti-Christian bias would serve no purpose in the case’s adjudication.

David Yerushalmi, AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel, commented: “The ACLU has a longstanding history of filing amicus briefs to further its political agenda and fundraising objectives. Here, the ACLU seeks to rehash the same incoherent arguments already posited by the Department of Justice in the nearly 100 pages of briefing. Indeed, the ACLU’s arguments are a pale version of the government’s brief, but with the literary angst of a political lobbyist flexing its strong bias in favor of the contraception mandate. In effect, the ACLU brief is little
more than a ‘me too’ underscored by a ‘we really mean it!’”

Robert Muise, AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel, commented: “This is not the first time the ACLU has engaged in the abusive practice of filing – or seeking to file – redundant and overly partisan briefs. Indeed, it is rather ironic that a so-called ‘guardian of liberty’ elevates its political ideology above the Constitution. Here, the ACLU is siding with Obama and his attack on the First Amendment in order to support its secular, liberal objectives, which ultimately promote the culture of death.”

Fr. Frank Pavone commented: “I’m not surprised by the ACLU’s attempt here to line up against Priests for Life. This is yet another example of how far removed from ‘civil liberties’ that organization has become. Whether their amicus brief is accepted or not, they are on the losing side of this case, which is all about preserving liberty.”

The case, Priests for Life, et al. v. the Department of Health and Human Services, et al., is pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

The American Freedom Law Center is a Judeo-Christian law firm that fights for faith and freedom. It accomplishes its mission through litigation, public policy initiatives, and related activities. It does not charge for its services. The Law Center is supported by contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations, and is recognized by the IRS as a section 501(c)(3) organization. Visit us at www.americanfreedomlawcenter.org.

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