Archive for the ‘Obamacare’ Category

Priests for Life HHS Lawsuit Moves Forward; Latest Government “Accommodation” Is No Accommodation at All

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

PriestsForLife

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: September 18, 2014

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

Staten Island, NY – Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life (PFL), today announced that Priests for Life has responded to the Obama administration’s latest HHS mandate maneuver with a supplemental legal brief filed with the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals. Priests for Life’s lawsuit against the mandate is currently before that court, the second highest in the nation. Priests for Life was the first of the religious non-profit cases against the mandate to have oral arguments at the appellate level, back in May.

“The Obama administration keeps trying to put a new coat of paint on a house that cannot stand,” said Fr. Pavone. “The seventh and latest version of the HHS mandate is no different from the others that courts around the country have found unconstitutional. It is a violation of all Americans’ fundamental right to religious freedom.”

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals is currently considering the appeal brought by Priests for Life and individual plaintiffs Fr. Pavone, PFL Executive Director Janet Morana, and PFL African American Outreach Director, Alveda King. The lawsuit challenges the Obamacare regulation requiring religious non-profit organizations to violate their religious beliefs by participating in the provision of abortion causing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilizations to employees or face crippling fines.

“Priests for Life will not comply in any way, shape or form with this latest ‘accommodation’ which is, in fact, no accommodation at all,” added Fr. Pavone. “If necessary, we will take this fight to the Supreme Court. No American should be forced by the government to violate his religious beliefs, especially when the government can achieve its policy goals in other ways.”

“They say that the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result. By that definition, this administration should see a doctor,” stated Mrs. Morana. “This new accommodation is the same as the old accommodation that the Supreme Court indicated was unconstitutional. Logic would indicate that a real change in policy should be in order, but logic doesn’t seem to enter into the equation here.”

“Why this administration is intent on coercing religious believers to violate their faith defies understanding,” added Dr. King. “The President could easily find alternatives to the current HHS mandate, but he seems intent on imposing his will. If the choice is between obeying God or the Department of Health and Human Services, we will choose God every 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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Priests for Life Case Against HHS Mandate Moves Forward

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Priests for Life

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: October 1, 2013

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

A motion for summary judgment was filed today in the lawsuit of Priests for Life against the HHS mandate. The lawsuit names as plaintiffs not only the organization itself, but also Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director, Janet Morana, Executive Director, and Alveda King, Director of African-American Outreach, and niece of Martin Luther King, Jr.

What this motion means is that the plaintiffs are asking the court to rule in their favor based on the law itself. In other words, the parties have already agreed that there is no dispute about the facts, namely, what the HHS mandate does, its impact on religious organizations like Priests for Life, or the fact that the case is “ripe” for judgment because harm will befall the plaintiffs very soon, given that the mandate will apply in full force against Priests for Life as of January 1, 2014.

It’s time, therefore, for the court to decide whether this mandate violates the US Constitution, as well as the law called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

“The judge in our case seems ready and willing to issue a final order on the legality of the contraceptive services mandate before the end of the year,” said Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life. “We were among the very first to launch a lawsuit against this mandate, back at the start of 2012. Despite all the promises and so-called accommodations the Obama Administration has made, our moral and legal concerns have not been satisfied. We’ve waited long enough. It’s time to declare this mandate unconstitutional.”

For details, and information on how you can get involved, 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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Priests for Life Asks D.C. Federal Court to Halt Enforcement of Obamacare “Contraception Mandate”

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

Priests for Life

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: September 22, 2013

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) has asked a federal court to halt enforcement of the Obamacare contraceptive services mandate against Priests for Life.

On Sept. 19, AFLC filed a motion for a preliminary injunction in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, asking the court to halt the enforcement of the recently announced regulations. The motion and accompanying memorandum of law are part of AFLC’s federal lawsuit filed last month on behalf of Priests for Life, an international, Catholic organization; Father Frank Pavone, the National Director of Priests for Life; Alveda King, the niece of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. and a pastoral associate and director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life; and Janet Morana, the executive director of Priests for Life.

The lawsuit challenges the new regulations announced by the Obama administration this past June that allegedly “accommodate” religious objections to the contraceptive services mandate for “eligible organizations.” However, the regulations still require certain non-exempt religious employers, including Priests for Life, to provide insurance plans that promote and facilitate the use of contraceptive services. Priests for Life’s sincerely held religious beliefs prohibit it from providing any support for the use of contraceptive services—the very services mandated by the government as a matter of federal law. The lawsuit and recently filed motion allege that the contraceptive services mandate places a substantial burden on Priests for Life’s sincerely held religious beliefs and the government does not have a compelling reason for doing so in violation of the United States Constitution and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Father Pavone expressed Priests for Life’s and his commitment to this fight for religious freedom. “We have been battling the HHS Mandate in court since February of 2012, and as we take this next step, we as an organization — and the plaintiffs in their individual capacities — renew our determination not to accommodate to this injustice. And we are confident that the court will uphold our position.”

According to the motion filed by AFLC, the contraceptive services mandate will apply in full force to Priests for Life’s health care plan on January 1, 2014, thereby necessitating the request for an immediate injunction. Absent an injunction, Priests for Life will be presented with a Hobson’s choice: either drop its health care plan altogether and face the consequences for doing so or refuse to cooperate with the government mandate and be subject to crippling fines of $100 per employee per day.

Robert Muise, co-founder and senior counsel of AFLC, commented: “As a religious organization whose primary mission is to promote the culture of life, Priests for Life has and will continue to suffer irreparable harm from the mandate. The so-called ‘accommodation’ for certain non-exempt religious employers announced by the Obama administration is no such thing. Under these revised regulations, because Priests for Life provides its employees with a health care plan, the mandate forces Priests for Life to provide the means and mechanism by which contraceptive services are provided directly to its plan participants and their beneficiaries, which is unacceptable to Priests for Life because it violates its sincerely held religious beliefs.”

Muise continued, “The use of contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients is prohibited by Priests for Life’s religious convictions. And this is true whether the immoral services are paid for directly, indirectly, or even not at all by Priests for Life. Contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients are immoral regardless of their cost.”

Throughout the process of amending the regulations, the Obama administration has refused to provide a broad exemption from the contraception mandate for religious employers such as Priests for Life, claiming that such an exemption “would lead to more employees having to pay out of pocket for contraceptive services, thus making it less likely that they would use contraceptives, which would undermine the benefits [of requiring the coverage].” According to the government, “Employers that do not primarily employ employees who share the religious tenets of the organization are more likely to employ individuals who have no religious objection to the use of contraceptive services and therefore are more likely to use contraceptives. Including these employers within the scope of the exemption would subject their employees to the religious views of the employer, limiting access to contraceptives, thereby inhibiting the use of contraceptive services and the benefits of preventive care.” Consequently, as the Obama administration has made clear, the ultimate goal of the contraception mandate is to increase the “use of contraceptive services” by compelling access to these services—a goal that is contrary to the very purpose and mission of Priests for Life.

David Yerushalmi, co-founder and senior counsel of AFLC, commented: “There is no doubt that the contraceptive services mandate threatens the very existence of Priests for Life as an effective, pro-life organization. The First Amendment exists to prevent exactly this type of tyrannical overreach by the federal government.”

The lawsuit was filed against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and its Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius; the U.S. Department of the Treasury and its Secretary, Jacob Lew; and the U.S. Department of Labor and its Secretary, Thomas Perez. Each department has a role in enforcing the challenged mandate.

To see the motion for a preliminary injunction and supporting statements from the plaintiffs, go to PriestsForLife.org/hhsmandate

The American Freedom Law Center is a national 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. The web site can be found at www.americanfreedomlawcenter.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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Priests for Life Youth Director to Speak at Anti-Obamacare Rally

Monday, August 26th, 2013

Priests for Life

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: August 26, 2013

Contact: Eugene Vigil
347-286-7277

Bryan Kemper, Director of Youth Outreach for Priests for Life, will represent the pro-life movement at a “Pull the Plug on Obamacare Rally” Tuesday, Aug. 26, outside House Speaker John Boehner’s office in Troy, Ohio.

Kemper said there are many problems with Obamacare, including a provision within the Affordable Care Act that mandates all employers, or their insurance carriers, to provide free contraception, abortifacients and sterilization services.

“Priests for Life was one of the first organizations to file a lawsuit against this unjust mandate,” Kemper said. “The suit was dismissed when the Obama administration promised an accommodation for faith-based employers. As expected, the accommodation was unacceptable, and last week we re-filed the suit. We expect to win because we have the U.S. Constitution on our side.”

“Pull the Plug on Obamacare” will begin at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday with 30 minutes of prayer outside the courthouse. The rally will then move to outside Speaker Boehner’s office at 12 South Plum St. for an hour of speeches. Protesters will move back to the courthouse for the final hour, 5 to 6 p.m.

Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, commented, “We are not against the goal of having all Americans enjoy health care coverage. We’re just against trampling people’s lives and consciences in the process of doing it.”

Also scheduled to speak are former Ohio secretary of state Ken Blackwell; Jenny Beth Martin of the Tea Party Patriots, and Brent Bozell of ForAmerica.
Kemper is the founder of Stand True Pro-Life Outreach, which has its headquarters in Troy.

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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