“Today’s action is another step forward in the cause of freedom, because the Court did not rule against The Little Sisters of the Poor. From the perspective one of the plaintiffs in the ongoing HHS battle, it’s clear that we are not out of the woods yet, because there may still be resistance from the government. This scenario reminds me of Pilate washing his hands during the trial of Christ,” said Evangelist Alveda King, director of Civil Rights for the Unborn, Priests for Life.
“However, we pray and believe that the government can pursue its objectives without forcing us to choose between following the law and following our faith,” continued King. “The case of Priests for Life vs. HHS is about freedom, and we are confident of final victory.“
Priests for Life Issues Further Comments in HHS Supreme Court Case
Priests for Life, the first group of the 37 Supreme Court petitioners in Zubik vs. Burwell to challenge the HHS mandate in court, has responded to today’s action by the Court in this consolidated case.
Robert Muise, of the American Freedom Law Center, which has represented Priests for Life in this case from the beginning, explained, “The Court’s action today continues to protect us from this unjust mandate, and from any punishment for not obeying it. It gives us a chance now to work out in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, whose ruling against us is now vacated, a solution that will continue to protect our religious freedom. As we have always said, because the very mission of Priests for Life is to advance a culture free from any kind of abortion, this organization continues to be a perfectly situated petitioner to object to the mandate.”
Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, and also a personal petitioner in the case, added, “We are encouraged by today’s development. The Supreme Court could have ruled against us, but evidently the Obama Administration did not succeed in persuading them to do so. A split Court could also have let the lower court’s negative ruling stand, but again, they did not see fit to do that. Instead, the Supreme Court, upon receiving further briefings, vacated the lower court rulings, and offered the parties an opportunity to work out a mutually acceptable solution in the lower courts, that will both allow the government to pursue its objectives and allow us to practice our faith. We are committed to continuing that process in the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit.”
Janet Morana, Executive Director of Priests for Life, and also a personal petitioner in the case, stated, “In April, we told the Supreme Court that if the government and the insurance companies are going to provide free coverage of abortion-inducing drugs and contraceptives, they have to do it without any involvement from us, and without hijacking the insurance plan we offer our employees. Moreover, the government also told the Court that modifications to the accommodation would be possible. So now, we look forward to the next step of this process, which we hope will find a more reasonable response by the government than we have seen up to now.”