Archive for the ‘PFL Lawsuit’ Category

Priests for Life Announces Prayer Campaign for Victory in Supreme Court

Monday, November 9th, 2015

PriestsForLife

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: November 9, 2015

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

Churches and families asked to pray that HHS mandate is reversed

WASHINGTON, DC — Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, announced today a special prayer campaign for the Supreme Court to reverse the HHS mandate.

“The U.S. Supreme Court has accepted the case of Priests for Life against the HHS mandate that tries to force us to cover abortion in our health insurance plans. Along with six other cases that have been consolidated with ours, the Court will consider whether the ‘accommodation’ that the Obama administration offers to groups like Priests for Life is a substantial burden to our religious freedom, and whether the government can achieve its objectives through less restrictive means,” Fr. Frank explained.

“Over the next six months or so, we ask all believers to join with us and the other plaintiffs in praying for victory in the Court. At our prayer website, PrayerCampaign.org, you will find a link to special prayers that we have written (http://www.priestsforlife.org/novenas/novena.aspx?id=8) for this intention.

“Victory for us and the other six cases means victory for every believer. It is not the government that decides what does or does not contradict our faith and our conscience. It is the believer, in union with his or her Church, who determines that. This is the essence of religious freedom,” Fr. Frank concluded.

To follow the progress of our case, visit 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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Supreme Court Grants Review in Priests for Life Case Against HHS Mandate, along with Six Other Cases

Friday, November 6th, 2015

istandwithpfl

November 6, 2015

Fr. Frank Pavone , National Director of Priests for Life, announced this afternoon that the US Supreme Court has accepted the Priests for Life case against HHS mandate.

Six other cases were also granted review by the Court, and they are listed below.

“This is a great day in our battle for religious freedom against the culture of death, which wants us to participate in the spread of abortion. We will not do so, and we look forward to making our case at the Supreme Court,” Fr. Pavone said.

“This is great news that the Court has granted cert in our case against the HHS mandate,” said Robert Muise of the American Freedom Law Center, which represents Priests for Life. “Along with the other cases that have been consolidated along with ours, it is particularly appropriate that Priests for Life has been fighting this mandate, since the very purpose of the organization is to oppose the very activities that the mandate supports, particularly abortion.”

In the Priests for Life case, plaintiffs included, along with the organization, the following people in their individual capacity: Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, Janet Morana, Executive Director of Priests for Life and Co-Founder of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, and Dr. Alveda King, Director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life and niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The cases accepted against the HHS mandate today are as follows:

CERTIORARI GRANTED
14-1418 ZUBIK, DAVID A. ET AL. V. BURWELL, SEC. OF H&HS, ET AL.
14-1453 PRIESTS FOR LIFE, ET AL. V. DEPT. OF H&HS, ET AL.
14-1505 ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP V. BURWELL, SEC. OF H&HS, ET AL.
15-35 E. TX BAPTIST UNIV., ET AL. V. BURWELL, SEC. OF H&HS
15-105 LITTLE SISTERS, ET AL. V. BURWELL, SEC. OF H&HS, ET AL.
15-119 SOUTHERN NAZARENE UNIV., ET AL. V. BURWELL, SEC. OF H&HS, ET AL.
15-191 GENEVA COLLEGE V. BURWELL, SEC. OF H&HS, ET AL.

For more details visit IStandWithPFL.com

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Supreme Court Close to Decision on Whether to Review HHS Mandate Challenge

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

PriestsForLife

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: October 29, 2015

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK — Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, released the following statement regarding Priests for Life’s legal challenge to the HHS mandate, which would force coverage of abortion:

“Priests for Life and six other petitions are now at the door of the U.S. Supreme Court, challenging the HHS mandate. We may know by early next week which of these cases the High Court will accept for the current term. The Solicitor General has said the consolidated case of Priests for Life and the Archdiocese of Washington presents the ideal vehicle for the justices to decide the many issues involved for faith-based ministries that object to providing abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, and sterilization.”

“Naturally we hope our case will be selected, but any case that is heard and decided in favor of religious liberty will be a victory for all the plaintiffs and for the nation. The alternative is a situation in which the government decides which religious beliefs matter and which do not. At Priests for Life, we will never accept such a thing, and we will never obey this mandate, no matter what happens in the Supreme Court.”

Priests for Life is represented by the American Freedom Law Center, a Michigan-based firm whose founders, Robert Muise and David Yerushalmi, specialize in defending religious liberty, freedom of speech and the sanctity of human life.

For information and updates on our case, visit 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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Supreme Court Considering Priests for Life Case Against HHS Mandate

Monday, August 17th, 2015

PriestsForLife

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: August 17, 2015

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK — The Supreme Court will meet on September 28 to consider whether or not it will hear Priests for Life’s challenge to the HHS mandate.

In the lead case for the Churches and religious non-profits objecting to the HHS mandate, “Priests for Life, et al. v. Department of Health and Human Services,” the Court consolidated the Priests for Life petition with that of the Archdiocese of Washington. Petitioners in the Priests for Life case include not only the organization, but also, in their personal capacities, Dr. Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King Jr. and full-time Director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life, as well as Janet Morana, co-founder of Silent No More, and Fr. Frank Pavone.

The Obama administration’s response to the joint petitions contends that the new “accommodation” for faith-based ministries does not violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Robert Muise, co-founder and senior co-counsel of the American Freedom Law Center, said that, “In arguing, contrary to Priests for Life’s contentions, that it would be consistent with Catholic Church teaching for Priests for Life to comply with the challenged regulations, the government is taking on the impermissible role of deciding what does or does not violate Church teaching and then asking the Court to exceed both its judicial function and its judicial competence by confirming the government’s position. If the Court accepts this argument, it will destroy religious freedom as we know it.”

Priests for Life will submit its reply to the government’s objections on August 26.

Father Pavone said the government’s arguments are unpersuasive and dangerous:

“They are saying, in effect, that they know better than we do what violates our faith. It’s ridiculous, and it undermines all that American was founded on. It is the believer who believes, and the government is supposed to respect his right to believe, not control it.”

A Friend of the Court Brief supporting the petition of Priests for Life in this case has been filed, with the assistance of Americans United for Life, by the following groups: Association of American Physicians & Surgeons; American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists; Christian Medical Association; National Catholic Bioethics Center; Alabama Physicians for Life; National Association of Pro-life Nurses, and the National Association of Catholic Nurses.

Attorneys at the American Freedom Law Center have indicated that because Priests for Life, in addition to being a religious non-profit entity, is particularly well-suited to challenge the HHS mandate, because the very mission of the organization is to protect human life from precisely the activities that the mandate wants to expand.

To read the government’s response to Priests for Life’s petition, go to http://www.priestsforlife.org/hhsmandate/15-08-supreme-court.pdf To see all the documentation and commentary on this case, visit 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 granted stay in challenge against HHS mandate

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

PriestsForLife

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: June 10, 2015

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK — Priests for Life will not have to obey the HHS mandate – or pay steep fines for refusing to do so – after a federal appeals court granted the pro-life ministry a stay late today.

Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, said: “The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit granted our motion to stay the mandate, meaning that the injunction protecting us from the mandate will remain in place while the Supreme Court considers our case.”

On Tuesday, the ministry’s attorneys filed the cert petition asking the Supreme Court to hear its case, on the merits, challenging the HHS mandate, after the appeals court refused a petition to give the case a hearing before the full court.

“Without the stay granted today, we would have been in the position of being fined for failing to comply with the mandate,” Father Pavone said. “But no matter what happens, we will not obey the mandate, nor will we pay fines to the government.”

To read the petition, and to find more information on 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 files cert petition with U.S. Supreme Court in case against HHS Mandate

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

PriestsForLife

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: June 9, 2015

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK — Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, today announced that the ministry’s lawsuit against the HHS mandate contained in the Affordable Care Act has been filed with the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Our attorneys filed today our ‘cert petition’ with the U.S. Supreme Court. This means we are asking the Court to hear our case, on the merits, challenging the HHS mandate.

“We had to take this step after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled against us in November, and then a few weeks ago denied our petition for an en banc hearing,” explained Fr. Pavone.

“We believe we can win this case at the High Court,” Fr. Pavone continued, “but let it be clear that we also believe in a higher court, and that no matter what happens, we will obey God rather than men.”

To read the petition, and to find more information on 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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Dr. Alveda King Reminds Mayor, Fire Chief: “It All Started With An Apple.”

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 13, 2015

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

ATLANTA, GA – The growing controversies surrounding 1st Amendment religious and freedom of speech rights are reaching fever pitch, now in Atlanta between the Mayor and Fire Chief.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” -First Amendment to the Constitution.

Dr. Alveda King, Pastoral Associate and Director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life states: “A current classic example of miscommunication of these truths recently occurred in Atlanta between two beloved and respected leaders: Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran over the seemingly never ending debate over sexuality”.

1Corinthians 16:13-14 Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.

These conflicts over religious freedom are not limited to issues of sexuality. For instance, in an ongoing lawsuit against the HHS Mandate, Priests for Life is doing exactly as instructed in 1Corinthians. Not only is it important to stand firm in the faith but we must stand up against the limiting of our 1st Amendment rights. This is especially important when it comes to the harmful effects of contraception, abortion and reproductive rights.

In fact, contraception and abortion have done so much damage to our nation and world that Priests for Life just last week announced a year-long initiative: “Healing the Shockwaves of Abortion.” The initiative seeks to bring healing to everyone impacted by abortion by concentrating on a different segment of the population each month.

“In all matters of conflict, love, dignity, clarity and communication are key, even when viewpoints differ,” added King.

As my uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “We must learn to live together as brothers [and sisters] or perish as fools.”

My father, Rev. A. D. King, speaking from Acts 17:26, said, “We are one blood, one human race.”

“From one blood GOD created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall and he determined their boundaries.”

Dr. King has posted a developing commentary: It All Started with an Apple which is available at http://priestsforlife.org/library/5154-and-it-all-started-with-an-apple

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Lead Nonprofit Case against HHS Mandate Moves Forward

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

PriestsForLife

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: December 15, 2014

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

Washington, DC – Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, announced today that its case is moving forward in the federal courts to challenge the HHS mandate. The fourth such case to be introduced, back at the start of 2012, the Priests for Life lawsuit will now be appealed to the full body of judges of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, where a three-judge panel issued an adverse ruling in November. “We are determined to go all the way to the Supreme Court, which we are convinced we will need to do in due time. But what we are doing now is the next step in that process. Ultimately, no matter how the courts rule, we will not obey the mandate, no matter what the consequences.”

The Court has consolidated the case brought by the Archdiocese of Washington (which case includes Catholic University of America, Thomas Aquinas College, and other plaintiffs) with that of Priests for Life. This consolidated case is at the lead of the religious non-profit cases against the mandate.

Lead attorney Robert Muise of the American Freedom Law Center explained, “Priests for Life is requesting that the D.C. Circuit rehear the case en banc (full court) because the panel’s decision directly conflicts with the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Hobby Lobby. Just as in Hobby Lobby, Priests for Life believes that if it complies with the regulation, it will be facilitating immoral conduct in violation of its Catholic faith. And just as in Hobby Lobby, if Priests for Life does not comply, it will pay a heavy price. That is the very definition of an unlawful burden on religious exercise. And should the full court refuse to rehear the case, we will seek review in the Supreme Court. This battle is not over.”

The filing of the case with the Court will take place today or tomorrow.

Fr. Pavone added, “We have been receiving statements of support from priests across the nation indicating that they stand with us in this battle for religious freedom. They know that this is not only a matter of the HHS mandate, but of the principle behind everything they do each day: the freedom of the Church to exist and function in society according to her beliefs.”

To keep up with the Priests for Life case and the arguments and talking points involved, 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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Ruling on HHS Mandate: “As Contrary to Religious Freedom as You Can Get

Friday, November 14th, 2014

PriestsForLife

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: November 14, 2014

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, issued the following statement today to the decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which ruled against Priests for Life’s challenge to the HHS mandate in the case Priests for Life et al. vs. US Dept. of HHS et al.

“As we have said from the beginning, Priests for Life will not obey the HHS mandate. To ask a group of priests to cooperate in the government’s plan to expand access to birth control and abortion-inducing drugs is about as contrary to religious freedom as you can get.

In the interim, the government has provided what it calls an ‘accommodation’ by which we opt-out of the obligation to provide such coverage. In principle, of course, this moves in the right direction. The conscience of every American should be accommodated by law, so that government never forces anyone to violate his or her conscience.

But the problem at issue in our case — in which the Archdiocese of Washington, Catholic University of America, Thomas Aquinas College, and other plaintiffs are also joined — is that the mechanism the government has provided for us to opt out is, in itself, objectionable to our religious and moral convictions. We have been pointing this out from the outset of this case.

If the government is sincere in wanting to enable us to opt out of something because it violates our moral conscience, it is reasonable for us to insist that we be given a way to opt out that does not itself violate our moral conscience. And whether it violates our conscience is for us to say, not the government.

Today’s decision states that our moral objection to the government’s current ‘opt-out’ mechanism is not their problem.

The decision mischaracterizes our objections. It says, “What Plaintiffs object to here are “the government’s independent actions in mandating contraceptive coverage, not to any action that the government has required [Plaintiffs] themselves to take.”’ That is not correct. What we object to are the actions the government is asking us to take. The decision later acknowledges that, but dismisses our objection as not being weighty enough.

What it boils down to is this: the government finds it hard to believe that we are objecting precisely to an action that lets us opt out of its plan to make it easier for our employees to get contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs.

But the court’s own words today show why we object. The following two paragraphs from the decision capture why we continue to object and why we will not obey the regulations:

“Once the eligible organization expresses its desire to have no involvement in the practice to which it objects, the government ensures that a separation is effectuated and arranges for other entities to step in and fill the gap as required to serve the legislatively mandated regime.”

“Only if the eligible organizations communicate that they are dropping contraceptive coverage from the health insurance they have arranged for their employees will the government be able to ensure that the resultant gaps in employees’ coverage are otherwise filled. The government contends that its interests would be impaired if eligible organizations were entitled to exempt themselves from the contraceptive coverage requirement without notifying either HHS, or their insurers or TPAs.”

That’s the point. We refuse to take actions that are necessary to help the government “fill the gap” to provide drugs that kill babies and harm women. This decision admits that the action they are asking us to take does precisely that and is in fact necessary for that to happen. Therefore we will continue to refuse to obey the regulations, and we will appeal this decision to the Supreme Court.”

Janet Morana, Executive Director of Priests for Life and a personal plaintiff in the case added, “This decision praises the so-called benefits of contraception as if its well-documented negative health risks did not exist. Our objection to be any part of the government’s plan to make contraception more easily accessible is grounded not only in our respect for conscience and religion, but precisely in our regard for women and their health. The Pill, IUDs and sterilization devices like Essure are harming women every day.”

Alveda King, daughter of Rev. A.D. King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., full-time director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life, and also a personal plaintiff in the case, added, “In the interests of civil rights, which include the right of conscience to practice one’s faith regardless of how the government wants to define it, we will continue to pursue this case at the level of the Supreme Court. If my Uncle ML were still around, I have no doubt that he would be fully supportive of our efforts to secure freedom for every American to have his or her conscience free from government intrusion or reinterpretation.”

Robert Muise of the American Freedom Law Center, which represents Priests for Life in this case, stated, “This decision by the D.C. Circuit, a court that was recently packed by Obama through Harry Reid’s nuclear option, totally disregards the meaning of material cooperation as our Church teaches it. No doubt, contraception is a sacrament of the secular left, and this decision, which was authored by one of the recent Obama-appointed judges, is a tribute to it. Make no mistake, this battle is not over. We will continue our fight for religious freedom by challenging this decision in the U.S. Supreme Court.”

For more information on this case, on Priests for Life’s response, and what you can do, see 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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Mothers’ Day Begins In The Womb: Pray For At Risk Mothers And Babies.

Friday, May 9th, 2014

140509 blog image

Tomorrow my daughters, Mother and I will attend a “Mother Daughter Tea.” We will celebrate our joyous relationships. Then, on Sunday, I will participate in a Mothers’ Day Celebration at church. There will be good singing and Bible teaching. Yet many mothers and daughters will have a bittersweet weekend.

Over 300 girls in Nigeria won’t spend a happy Mother’s Day with their families due to terrorists kidnapping them. Across America millions of aborted baby boys and girls will not feel a mother’s touch because they were silenced by abortion’s sting. Lament and weep for mothers and their children.

This year I am praying for these losses; including those of my dear friends and even family members who have lost mothers and children who are deceased by natural causes; as well as some by sickness, accidents, crimes; and yes sadly, by abortion and carcinogenic birth control.

Sadly still, just days before Mothers Day, we have received shocking news of a misguided mother who is celebrating her abortion on video:

Emily Letts tries to hide the Scary Truth

Recently Emily Letts, a former professional actress and current COSMOPOLITAN Magazine contributor advertised her “not scary” abortion which fails to show the brutal dismemberment of her baby. She posted it on YouTube. Now that’s a sick and scary thing; a very sad Mothers’ Day testimony.

Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life counsels post-abortive women who have had abortions. In the midst of hearings regarding infringement of our religious freedoms by the strong arm of the HHS Mandate, he has taken precious time to lament the pre- Mothers’ Day travesty triggered by Emily’s video:

“Actually, Emily did not film her abortion. She filmed her smiles and sighs during a procedure which we are expected to take her at her word was an abortion. But to really film an abortion, you have to film the arms and legs of the baby being ripped apart and the head being crushed,” he said.

I agree with Father Frank. I and hundreds of other women have posted our abortion testimonies at silentnomoreawareness.org. Also, more stories available at AbortionTestimony.com witness to the truth; abortion hurts women and kills babies who die horrible deaths. Emily is missing something in her video; the truth.

s Righs Begin in the Womb

At standtrue.com, my colleague Bryan Kemper writes:

“I don’t hate Emily; my heart actually breaks for her. I am just like her, a sinner who can only find the Hope I need in Christ. I know that Emily is someone’s daughter and as a father I hurt for the lost grandchild her father will never hold. As a Christian I grieve for the state of her soul and her eternal path. I will commit to praying for Emily and for her to find the Hope that is only found in our Savior, Jesus Christ.”

Father Frank, Bryan, many other colleagues and I spent yesterday at a Rally for Religious Freedom. We gathered outside the courthouse in DC to raise our concerns about the injustice of the HHS Mandate which has resulted in our PFL lawsuit. All the while I was either standing outside with the faithful, or sitting inside the courtroom at the hearing, I was remembering the pain of babies marked for slaughter and their mothers marked for deception.

In a few weeks, soon after Mothers’ Day, and followed by Fathers’ Day, on July 2, 2014 we will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the US Civil Rights Act. Two days later we will celebrate July 4, Independence Day. Yet the war on the wombs of women and the decimation of the natural God ordained family structure continues to tear away the very foundations of our liberty.

For those who will be celebrating Mothers’ Day with your beloved mothers, God bless you. Please remember to say a prayer for those who are not so fortunate; that God will heal our land, our wombs, and our families; and bring an end to the scourge of abortion which is at the heart of the war on women.

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