Archive for the ‘Law’ Category

Fr. Pavone: Priests for Life Supreme Court Case Reminds Us That Next President Will Shape Nation for 40 Years

Monday, May 9th, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: May 9, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK — As Priests for Life awaits word from the Supreme Court on its case, Priests for Life vs. HHS, challenging the HHS mandate, Father Frank Pavone, National Director, said the case illustrates the importance of the 2016 elections.

“With the Supreme Court evenly divided along ideological lines, it becomes clear that how Americans vote in November will not only impact the next four years, but the next 40 years as well,” Father Pavone said. “The president and the Senate together shape the Supreme Court and the other federal courts. Depending on what party controls each branch of government, the court will move solidly to the right or to the left. The differences between the two parties on fundamental issues could not be more clear, more stark, or more extreme.”

Father Pavone has recorded a series of short videos to explain more about Priests for Life vs. HHS, the Supreme Court case in which Priests for Life is a petitioner along with 36 others. The videos can be found at www.MandateMinutes.com and are available for broadcast.

A list of talking points about the case can be found at www.IStandwithPFL.com.

“Voters who find themselves dissatisfied with the likely Democratic and Republican candidates have to look beyond the nominees themselves and understand the impact of a party, and its prevailing philosophies, not only on the next four years but on the next 40 years,” Father Pavone said. “Among other things, do we want to protect the unborn or do we want to continue to be a nation that sanctions the murder of its most vulnerable citizens?”

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 Thanks Alabama Legislature for Protective Legislation for Children

Friday, May 6th, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: May 6, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK – Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, today urged Alabama Governor Robert Bentley to sign into law a bill to protect unborn babies from being dismembered.

“It’s hard to imagine a more horrible death than having your body torn apart while you’re in a state of helplessness, but that’s what dismemberment abortions do to babies in the womb,” said Fr. Pavone. “The fact that such a barbarous procedure is the most common method of second-trimester abortions is not a reason to let it continue, but rather a reason to protect children from it as soon as possible. That’s why Priests for Life has been promoting this kind of protective legislation both on the state and federal level for many years.”

The Alabama legislature has become the fifth in the nation to pass legislation protecting children from dismemberment abortions, by which a living baby’s arms, legs, and head are separated from his or her body by surgical instruments. The baby’s parts are then removed and reassembled on a table to ensure that none remain in the mother.

“Governor Bentley has been a stalwart defender of the unborn and their mothers. I thank the Alabama legislature, and all who have lobbied for this bill, for getting it to his desk to sign,” Fr. Pavone concluded.

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 of Priests for Life Praises Kansas Legislature for Pro-life Measures

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: May 3, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK – Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, praised the Kansas legislature for two pro-life measures that it has passed and sent to the desk of Governor Brownback. One measure would prohibit midwives from performing abortions, the other would make permanent an annual budget provision that ensures state family planning funds be given to entities that do not perform abortions.

“Governor Brownback, a longtime friend of Priests for Life, is committed to enacting pro-life legislation. This is why Priests for Life and the National Pro-life Religious Council recently honored him with our Pro-life Recognition Award on the day of the national March for Life in Washington,” Fr. Pavone explained. “We are delighted that these measures are going to him.”

“The abortion industry is already highly unregulated and unscrupulous,” said Fr. Pavone. “Any legislation that prohibits this industry from sliding into even lower standards is urgently needed. And as far as funding is concerned, family planning funds should be directed to helping family members, not killing them.”

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 Salutes Mississippi for Protecting Unborn

Friday, April 15th, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: April 15, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK — Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, issued the following statement on the new law in Mississippi to protect unborn children from dismemberment abortion:

“Mississippi has taken a courageous and righteous step toward protecting children in the womb from the barbarity of a dismemberment abortion. Gov. Phil Bryant, state legislators and every resident of Mississippi have reason to be proud today.”

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 Petitioners Comment on HHS Case

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: April 13, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

WASHINGTON, DC — The petitioners in Priests for Life vs. HHS, one of the Supreme Court cases consolidated into Zubik vs. Burwell, commented today on the supplemental briefs submitted to the Supreme Court yesterday. Both the petitioners and the government were responding to questions posed in a March 29 order of the Court.

Janet Morana, Executive Director of Priests for Life, said: “From the beginning of this case, I have made it clear that I will not sign any forms that authorize our insurance company to cover these objectionable services in the health insurance we offer our employees. This case is not about the actions of third-parties. What the insurance company or the government will do without any authorization or involvement from us is one thing; what they try to force us to do is quite another.”

Dr. Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King, Jr. and full-time director of Civil Rights for the Unborn (the African-American outreach of Priests for Life), said, “Women’s reproductive issues are very complex. Forcing us to provide contraception will never resolve a woman’s deepest issues. There once was a woman with an issue of blood and Christ became her healer. May the church rise up and serve our women or else the government will continue to destroy our greatest blessings.”

Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, stated, “The Court has asked us the right question. They asked us to draw the line, as believers, between behavior that is acceptable and behavior that is unacceptable to our faith. We have done so. Now it remains for the Court to rule to protect our freedom to live that faith by being able to choose freely what kind of insurance coverage we offer to our employees.”

Priests for Life, the largest Catholic organization focused on ending abortion, was the first of the 37 petitioners in Zubik vs. Burwell to challenge the HHS mandate in court.

The petitioners’ brief is here. The government’s brief is here. The Court order requesting the briefs is here.

Priests for Life is conducting a nationwide prayer campaign at www.SupremeCourtVictory.com for a favorable outcome in this case. For more information about the case, see www.IStandWithPFL.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 tells Court: Yes, there is a Less Restrictive Means

Monday, April 11th, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: April 11, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

WASHINGTON, DC — Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, whose case, Priests for Life vs. HHS, is one of the seven consolidated cases at the Supreme Court in Zubik vs. Burwell, stated today that he has responded to the question that the Supreme Court presented to the petitioners recently, trying to find a way to satisfy their religious objections to the HHS mandate.

In an unusual move, the Court asked petitioners recently for more documentation that might map out the way to a solution to the present controversy. On the one hand, the government wants the employees of Priests for Life and the other organizations to have insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs and contraceptives. On the other hand, Priests for Life and the other groups want no part of providing it.

“By asking us to describe how things should be different than what the mandate currently requires, the Court is showing that it recognizes that the believer is the only one qualified to draw the line between acceptable and unacceptable behavior. As the Supreme Court already said in Hobby Lobby and other cases, it is never the role of the government or the Court to substitute its own judgment for that of the believer.

“Also, the fact that the Court is asking us to describe a better solution that would truly accommodate our religious beliefs indicates that it is looking for a ‘less restrictive’ means for the government to pursue its objectives. The existence of a ‘less restrictive’ means, which we believe we have identified in this new brief, leads us to victory in this case. It proves our point that the government hasn’t passed the test that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) requires,” Fr. Pavone explained.

The brief that has been prepared as a collaborative effort of all the petitioners and their attorneys will be filed with the Court tomorrow, simultaneous with a brief from the government on the same question. Then, later in the month, each side will be able to respond to one another’s briefs.

“The bottom line is this,” Fr. Pavone stated. “We have told the Court that we simply cannot take any actions whatsoever to authorize, facilitate, or in any way be part of the provision of contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs. This case is not about what others do; rather, it is about what we do. We cannot ever be the ‘gateway’ for the provision of these life-denying, life-destroying drugs. We have drawn that line clearly for the court. If the government or the insurance companies insist on pursuing the destructive path of abortion and contraception, they already have the means to do it without our involvement. Our message to the government is simple: leave us out of it, and stop forcing us to choose between following the law and following our faith. Every believer in America should be free 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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Fr. Pavone sees new SCOTUS order as a positive development

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 29, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK — The Supreme Court today released an order requesting supplemental briefs from petitioners in Zubik vs. Burwell to address how contraceptive coverage may be obtained by employees through petitioners’ insurance companies, in a way that does not require any involvement of petitioners beyond their decision to provide health insurance without contraceptive coverage to their employees.

Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, issued the following statement regarding the new order.

“We are reviewing the Court’s order with our attorneys, and we will indeed be filing a supplemental brief. We see this as a positive development in that the Court appears to be looking for a least restrictive alternative that would not burden our religious beliefs, which will ultimately mean that the government did not satisfy its burden under Religious Freedom Restoration Act.”

Priests for Life vs. HHS is one of the seven consolidated cases in Zubik vs. Burwell that had oral arguments before the Court last week. Robert Muise, co-founder and senior counsel of the American Freedom Law Center, represents Priests for Life.

For information about the case, go to www.IStandwithPFL.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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Religious Liberty Matters

Friday, March 18th, 2016

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Priests for Life press conference on Zubik vs. Burwell March 22 at the National Press Club

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 17, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Priests for Life, a plaintiff in Zubik vs. Burwell, will hold a press conference at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 22 in the Bloomberg Room of the National Press Club.

At stake in Zubik is the religious liberty of dozens of plaintiffs, as well as plaintiffs in more than 50 other cases that did not make it to the Supreme Court but will be impacted by the ruling on whether the federal government can enforce its mandate on faith-based ministries.

Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, and Janet Morana, Executive Director, are both named plaintiffs in the case and will speak at the press conference. Robert Muise, co-founder and senior counsel of the American Freedom Law Center, which is representing Priests for Life, also will make remarks. Other plaintiffs have been invited to discuss their cases, and Priests for Life is awaiting confirmation that some high-profile friend-of-the-court filers will attend.

“What’s at stake in Zubik vs. Burwell is not access to contraception,” Father Pavone said. “What this case is about is the government attempting to dictate how people of faith may practice their religion, whatever that religion may be. Catholics and evangelical Christians are represented in Zubik, but friend-of-the-court briefs have been filed by a rich diversity of faith traditions, including Orthodox Jews, Muslims and followers of Krishna. This case is about more than priests and nuns.”

Mrs. Morana added: “Priests for Life objects to the contraceptive and abortion-causing drugs and devices covered by the HHS mandate because they are counter to Catholic teaching. But we also oppose being ordered to provide our employees with substances that are so clearly harmful to women.”

The National Press Club is at 529 14th St NW in Washington. The Bloomberg Room is on the 13th floor.

For more information on Zubik vs. Burwell, go to www.istandwithpfl.com To arrange an interview with Father Pavone, Mrs. Morana or Mr. Muise, please call Leslie Palma, Priests for Life director of communications, at 347-286-7277 or email media@priestsforlife.org

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. Frank Pavone Thanks Friends of the Court in Priests for Life Supreme Court Case

Wednesday, March 16th, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 16, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK – Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, today expressed thanks to the many groups and individuals who have filed amicus curiae (Friend of the Court) briefs in support of the Supreme Court case, Zubik vs. Burwell, among which Priests for Life vs. HHS is one of the seven consolidated cases challenging the Obamacare HHS mandate.

“It’s humbling and gratifying that more than 400 people and organizations have taken the time and effort to draft and file ‘friend of the court’ briefs in support of one of the most important cases on religious freedom to reach the Supreme Court,” said Fr. Pavone. “When our lawyers stand before the Court on March 23, they will have the intellectual, moral, and spiritual support of these legal, academic, and religious leaders who stand with us in this profound battle.”

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in this case on Wednesday, March 23. At issue is the bureaucratic regulation requiring religious non-profit groups to make available to their employees abortifacients, contraceptives, and procedures for sterilization. Priests for Life was the first of the petitioners currently before the Court to file a lawsuit against the regulation.

“We thank all who are standing with us, including the 207 members of the United States House and Senate, former U.S. Attorneys General, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Eternal Word Television Network, law professors, the Knights of Columbus, Orthodox Jewish rabbis, and representatives of Islam and other religions, just to name a few.

“All of these friends of the court are declaring with us that government should never force believers to choose between following their faith and following the law. As our own brief to the court states, government might disagree with our beliefs, but cannot disregard them,” Fr. Pavone concluded.

All of the “amicus curiae” or friend of the court briefs that have been filed in support of Priests for Life and the other plaintiffs may be found here.

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 Attorneys Reply to Government Brief in U.S. Supreme Court

Monday, March 14th, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 14, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

Priests for Life vs. HHS challenges Obama Administration – Oral arguments next week

NEW YORK – Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, announced today that attorneys for his organization and for co-plaintiffs have filed their response to the government’s opposition brief in the Supreme Court case Zubik v. Burwell, of which Priests for Life vs. HHS is one of the seven consolidated cases. The Court will hear oral arguments in the dispute over the HHS mandate on March 23.

“Our brief argues conclusively that the Obama administration has not proven that it has any legal basis to force Priests for Life and the other religious non-profit groups to violate our religious beliefs,” said Fr. Pavone. “Federal law is clear that the government cannot force a believer to choose between following his faith and following the law. The government’s goal of increasing access to abortion-inducing drugs is not a ‘compelling interest,’ and, even if it were, there are alternate ways to achieve it than forcing priests to violate the faith they were ordained to proclaim.”

Priests for Life, the first of the dozens of petitioners now before the Supreme Court to challenge the legality of the Obamacare rule known as the HHS mandate, filed their response brief with the justices on Friday. The Court will now study the case documents in preparation for oral arguments next week.

“For a variety of reasons, the government has already exempted many employers from this mandate, including some who do not even object to it,” Fr. Pavone added. “How can it justify exempting from the mandate, for non-religious reasons, a person who doesn’t even object to it, and at the same time insisting on imposing it on us who do object to it for religious reasons?”

For information on the case, see www.IStandWithPFL.com; for a prayer campaign related to the case, see www.SupremeCourtVictory.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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