Archive for the ‘Religious Freedom’ Category

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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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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Why I Joined the Lawsuit Against the HHS Mandate

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Stop HHS Mandate

As a staunch advocate for the unborn and an outspoken activist against the harm that contraceptives can do to women, I find it appalling that the Obama Administration would force my employer, Priests for Life, to be complicit in offering contraceptives, directly or indirectly, to its employees.

That is why I have decided to join forces with Fr. Frank Pavone, Janet Morana, and Priests for Life to challenge the Department of Health and Human Services and stop the implementation of the “contraceptive services mandate” which would force Priests for Life to provide insurance plans that include coverage for, or access to, contraception, sterilization, abortifacients, and related education and counseling.

Because such insurance plans would provide the very harmful agents are we at Priests for Life and I personally are fighting against every single day, I must oppose the HHS Mandate.

Please review the PowerPoint presentation and video to educate the public about the harmful effects of using contraceptives. To think that I or the company I work for would have anything to do with anyone being harmed from the use of contraceptives is something that I am not willing to accept.

There is also another related aspect of contraceptive use that many don’t understand.

As I said in the press release Priests for Life sent out, “[t]he Obama administration’s insistence on free contraception is an affront to civil rights.

“There are racist and eugenic roots to this thinking. Efforts to control the population always target minority and lower-income groups. We will not sit still and allow this to happen.”

Click HERE to see a copy of the press release regarding the complaint filed today.

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Priests for Life Is Back In Court To Fight For Religious Freedom.

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Priests for Life

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 19, 2013

Contact Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

WASHINGTON, DC – On behalf of the national pro-life ministry, the American Freedom Law Center filed a lawsuit today in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia challenging the Obamacare mandate that Priests for Life’s insurance plan must provide contraception, abortifacients and sterilization services to its employees.

On Tuesday, Aug. 20, at 9 p.m. EDT, Priests for Life will welcome Rep. Michele Bachmann for a Religious Freedom webcast to discuss the case and talk about how people can help to safeguard our First Amendment right to freedom of religion and the even more fundamental right to life itself.

Priests for Life was the fourth organization to file a lawsuit against the mandate in February 2012. The court protected Priests for Life from the effects of the mandate, but declined to rule on its merits because the administration promised that accommodations for faith-based employers would address the organization’s concerns. Those accommodations, released in June, still do not provide Priests for Life the protection it needs from being forced to cover the objectionable drugs and services as part of their health plans.

Therefore, the need now arises to file the lawsuit again, when the court can no longer tell us that new changes are coming or that harm to the organization is not imminent.

“As we predicted from the outset, the accommodation turned out to be no accommodation at all,” said Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life.

The lawsuit alleges that the regulations violate the Constitution and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by forcing religious organizations to violate their religious beliefs.

The new lawsuit names as plaintiffs, along with the Priests for Life organization itself, the following individuals: Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director; Janet Morana, Executive Director, and Alveda King, Director of African-American Outreach.

“Our concerns are not resolved just because the insurance carrier pays for the services that violate our Catholic faith,” Father Pavone explained. “The fact is that Priests for Life still becomes the gateway through which people can have insurance coverage for some of the very things that our international ministry was formed to combat.”

Mrs. Morana noted that, beyond Priests for Life’s religious objections, there are health concerns as well, since the birth control pill has been labeled a Class 1 carcinogen by the World Health Organization.

“We care about our employees at Priests for Life,” she said. “We would never provide something for them that was both morally wrong and physically hazardous.”

Dr. King, the niece of Martin Luther King Jr., said the Obama administration’s insistence on free contraception is an affront to civil rights.

“There are racist and eugenic roots to this thinking,” Dr. King said. “Efforts to control the population always target minority and lower-income groups. We will not sit still and allow this to happen.”

Robert Muise, co-founder and senior counsel of the American Freedom Law Center, said, “Despite his rhetoric about protecting the right of conscience, President Obama continues his war against religious liberty in order to promote his progressive, liberal agenda. Indeed, progressive liberals view pregnancy as a disease to be ‘prevented’ by contraception and ‘cured’ by abortion. By forcing religious organizations to participate in this culture of death agenda, the Obama administration is violating a core freedom enshrined in the Bill of Rights.”

Catholic groups are not alone in objecting to the contraception/abortifactient mandate. David Yerushalmi, also a co-founder and senior counsel of the American Freedom Law Center, said: “As an orthodox Jew who objects to this mandate on religious and constitutional grounds, I can say with confidence that observant Jews are as opposed to Obama’s assault on religious liberty as are those in the Christian communities across the country. In this battle, we all stand as one.”

The Tuesday, Aug. 20 webcast, which can be accessed online or by phone, will feature special guest Rep. Michele Bachmann as well as Father Pavone, Janet Morana, and Dr. King. Other nationally-known guests have been invited. Sign up to join the webcast at PriestsforLife.org/Webcast.

“As one of the first organizations to launch a lawsuit against this unjust mandate, Priests for Life is more than ready to bring this battle to the next level with today’s new filing,” Father Pavone said. “I am more than confident of victory, not only because of the expertise of the American Freedom Law Center, but because we are fighting for what America itself stands for: freedom, and above all, life.”

Priests for Life vs. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services can be found at http://www.priestsforlife.org/pdf/complaint-priests-for-life-v-dhhs.pdf

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.

To read the press release from the American Freedom Law Center click HERE

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Priests for Life Will Seek To Have HHS Mandate Ruled Unconstitutional

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Priests for Life

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 1, 2013

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

STATEN ISLAND, NY — Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, responded today to the Obama administration’s announcement on Friday regarding the HHS Mandate:

“I do not see any change that satisfies the moral and legal concerns that Priests for Life, as the second Catholic organization to launch a federal lawsuit against the mandate, has articulated for over a year now, both inside and outside the courts. Therefore, I am meeting with our attorneys today to prepare a renewed lawsuit.

“Up to now, the courts have secured protection for Priests for Life from enforcement of the mandate. But that is not enough for us. We want it declared unconstitutional, so that neither we nor anyone else has to endure its unjust and immoral demands.”

For more information, see PriestForLife.org/HHSMandate.

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Today is the Last Day to Voice Your Support for Religious Freedom

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Action_Alert_Flag

The HHS contraception mandate has received “more comments than any other regulatory proposal on any subject government-wide” according to the Sunlight Foundation. Today is the final day for public comment on the proposal to require businesses and non-profit charities of more than 50 employees to provide health insurance coverage for abortion-causing “contraceptives” and sterilization.

To make your voice heard please click HERE

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After First Amendment Victory, Priests for Life Youth Leader to Return to Ohio College

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

Bryan Kemper in Sidney

Priests for Life Youth Outreach Director Bryan Kemper, who was banned from holding a pro-life sign during a peaceful protest rally at Sinclair Community College last year, will return to the Dayton, Ohio school tomorrow, after the college agreed to uphold its students’ First Amendment rights.

In June 2012, during a Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally – one of more than 100 simultaneous rallies that Priests for Life helped organize across the country – Kemper was among those who were told by Dayton police that they could not hold up signs describing their opposition to government-mandated free contraception.

The Thomas More Society filed a federal lawsuit against the college on behalf of Kemper and two students. As a result of the suit, the college agreed in January to revise its campus access policy, which now stipulates that “any group may use, without prior notification, any publicly accessible outdoor area” (with some exceptions) for the purposes of speaking, non-verbal expressive conduct, the distribution of literature, displaying signage, and circulating petitions.”

Go to www.priestsforlife.org/deddens-v-warren.pdf to read the full settlement agreement.

Tomorrow, at the invitation of the school’s Traditional Values Club, Kemper will address students in the school library, from 1:30 to 5 p.m.

“This case has implications for the whole country, especially those of us who express opinions that aren’t politically correct in our current climate,” said Kemper, the founder of Stand True Prolife Outreach. “But it was also important to me, personally, because my son Jaemison, who was 7 at the time, was with me, and I wanted him to see that we can fight against injustice, and we can win.”

Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, commented: “Free speech is protected precisely because it can make people so angry that they will try to shut up the speaker. This case shows that the protection still works, and we need to use it!”

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