Archive for the ‘Religious Freedom’ Category

Alveda King calls on African-American clergy to stand with Priests for Life at Supreme Court

Monday, March 14th, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 14, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK – Evangelist Alveda King, a plaintiff in the Supreme Court case Priests for Life vs. HHS, has called on African-American clergy to stand with her in this crucial battle for religious liberty.

Evangelist King is the director of Civil Rights for the Unborn, the African-American Outreach of Priests for Life. Priests for Life, along with its National Director, Father Frank Pavone, and Executive Director, Janet Morana, are challenging the HHS mandate within the Affordable Care Act that calls on employers to provide cost-free contraception and abortifacient drugs and devices to their employees.

The case, along with six others, will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court on March 23.

“This case can be seen as an extension of the Black Lives Matter movement,” said Evangelist King. “Freedom of religion is cherished by African-Americans. If we lose this battle, and allow the federal government to dictate how we may practice our religion, everyone loses. This is a human rights fight and a civil rights fight. Everyone’s religious freedom is under review.”

To learn more 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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Priests for Life to lead Prayer Rally on Night Before Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in HHS Mandate Cases

Friday, February 26th, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: February 26, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

Priests for Life vs. HHS among seven consolidated cases

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life and a U.S. Supreme Court plaintiff in the case Priests for Life vs. HHS announced today that on Tuesday night, March 22, Priests for Life will lead a national prayer rally for religious freedom in front of the U.S. Supreme Court from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The oral arguments in this case, with which six other cases have been consolidated, will be heard the next morning, March 23, when there will also be a rally outside the court. The consolidated case is called Zubik vs. Burwell.

All the plaintiffs and Friends of the Court in the case will be invited to participate, as will presidential candidates, members of Congress, national and local pro-life groups and religious organizations. Everyone who values religious freedom is urged to come.

Those who cannot be present physically are invited to join in the prayer campaign at www.SupremeCourtVictory.org.

Fr. Frank said: “At issue in this case is a very basic principle of American law: The government cannot punish a believer for living out his or her faith. Nor can the government decide that a particular belief is not worth protecting. This case has implications well beyond the HHS mandate. It affects the freedom to practice any aspect of one’s religion in America.”

Plaintiffs in the Priests for Life case also include Janet Morana, Executive Director, and Alveda King, Director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life and niece of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Priests for Life was the fourth organization to file a federal challenge to the HHS mandate, over four years ago. Since then, this case has made its way up through the court system, receiving adverse judgments but also injunctions protecting the organization from punishment for not obeying the mandate, which would require participation in the government’s efforts to expand coverage for abortion-inducing drugs and contraceptives.

Priests for Life is represented in this case by the American Freedom Law Center.

For information about the Priests for Life case, and the arguments involved, and to express your support, visit www.IStandWithPFL.com.

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Guttmacher Institute Sides with Government Against Priests for Life

Thursday, February 18th, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: February 18, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK – Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, today commented on the Guttmacher Institute’s amicus brief filed in opposition to Priests for Life v. HHS, which is now challenging the HHS mandate in the Supreme Court.

“The Guttmacher Institute asserts that the religious freedom rights of Priests for Life and the dozens of other groups and individuals with cases now before the Supreme Court are subservient to the demands of government regulators,” said Fr. Pavone. “This may be what abortion advocates claim, but it’s not what the law states.”

The Guttmacher Institute has filed an amicus curiae brief in the consolidated Supreme Court case Zubik v. Burwell, in which the lawsuits of Priests for Life and six others seek the court’s protection from the Obama administration’s demand that religious non-profit groups participate in the distribution of abortion-causing drugs in violation of their faiths. The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the matter on March 23.

“Contrary to what Guttmacher and the abortion lobby allege, the government could find any number of ways of making birth control available without forcing church groups to violate their own beliefs,” added Fr. Pavone.

“The abortion lobby likes to talk about the separation of church and state, but it now wants to weave the tentacles of government into religion, telling churches what they can and can’t believe. The hostility of abortionists and their supporters to people of faith and to faith itself has never been more apparent.”

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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A King in the High Court: History Repeats Itself

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: February 16, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

Dr. Alveda King plaintiff in Priests for Life Challenge to HHS Mandate

NEW YORK — Forty-nine years after Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a petitioner in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court, his niece, Dr. Alveda King, will appear as a plaintiff in the same court.

In 1967, Rev. King sought to overturn his 1963 conviction for violating a Birmingham, AL, ordinance by leading a public demonstration without a permit.

This year, Dr. Alveda King is a plaintiff in Priests for Life vs. HHS, a case that seeks to block the Obama administration from enforcing the HHS Mandate. The mandate would force Priests for Life to cooperate with the government in expanding insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs and other objectionable “services.”

Both cases are about civil rights.

The Supreme Court ruled against Rev. King and upheld his conviction, but two years later the Birmingham ordinance was found to be unconstitutional. Alveda King, director of Civil Rights for the Unborn, the African-American Outreach of Priests for Life, is hoping justice will be swifter this time around.

“The people of the United States have a right to understand this,” she said. “The civil rights of every human being will be impacted by this decision. People forget that life is a civil right.”

Priests for Life objects to the mandate on religious liberty grounds, and finds it particularly offensive that a ministry formed specifically to fight abortion is being coerced to provide abortion-inducing drugs and devices to its employees.
“Life is a civil right,” Dr. King said. “In an abortion, you violate the rights of the baby.”

Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, noted that this month’s observance of Black History Month is a perfect time to highlight the King family in the Supreme Court.

“It’s historic that a member of the King family is once again defending civil rights in the U.S. Supreme Court,” Father Pavone said.

Dr. King said the nation has come a long way in recognizing the civil rights of African-Americans but has a long way still to go in recognizing that those rights begin in the womb.

“We are reminding Christians everywhere, of all races, ethnicities and creeds, that we must stand together and unite to protect the civil rights of all,” she said. “That includes the babies in the womb.”

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 on Obama Administration’s Opposition Brief in Supreme Court Case

Thursday, February 11th, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: February 11, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK — Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, commented today on the opposition brief the Obama administration filed in the Supreme Court case Zubik vs. Burwell, of which Priests for Life vs. HHS is one of the seven consolidated cases.

“This is a clash of worldviews,” Father Pavone said. “The Obama administration and other powerful forces on the other side of this battle see abortion, contraception and sterilization as goods to which all must have access. For them, it is the most natural conclusion in the world that these ‘services’ should be mandated and to accomplish this, they are willing to bulldoze over the religious liberty on which this country was founded.”

Father Pavone continued: “The administration contends that our objection to having to sign what amounts to a permission slip to allow our employees to get their contraceptives and abortifacients covered is a ‘stretch of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.’ That is precisely what the Supreme Court will decide and I remain confident the court will rule on the side of religious liberty.”

Dr. Alveda King, director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life and a named plaintiff in the case – along with Father Pavone and Executive Director Janet Morana – commented that the Obama administration’s insistence that these drugs and devices are crucial to women’s health is nothing short of sinister.

“A disproportionate number of women suffer serious medical side effects from abortions and use of artificial contraceptives,” she said. “I am one of those women, and I oppose this mandate on behalf of all women.”

The seven consolidated cases at the Supreme Court are as follows:

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 information on the Priests for Life and other cases, go to www.IStandWithPFL.com.

To participate in the prayer campaign for victory in these cases, 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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Priests for Life launches “SupremeCourtVictory.com” Prayer Campaign Continues Against HHS Mandate

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: February 10, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK – Priests for Life has launched a new web domain for its prayer campaign for success at the United States Supreme Court.

SupremeCourtVictory.com will lead visitors ten prayers that focus on various aspects of religious freedom, and the need for the People of God to defend that freedom against the unjust “HHS Mandate”, based on Obamacare. This mandate tries to force groups like Priests for Life to include abortion-inducing drugs and other objectionable services in its health insurance coverage for its employees.

Priests for Life’s federal lawsuit challenging the mandate is one of seven cases now being heard by the US Supreme Court. Oral arguments are on March 23.

“We are asking the other plaintiffs in the six cases that will be heard with ours, as well as all those who have filed friend-of-the-court briefs in our favor to help us promote this prayer campaign, so that all citizens can unite with us in prayer for religious freedom,” Father Pavone said. “The Supreme Court’s decision in this case will be one of the major events in 2016 and it will greatly impact the pro-life movement. A major response of prayer is essential.”

Priests for Life as an organization is challenging the mandate, and Father Pavone, Janet Morana, executive director, and Dr. Alveda King, director of African-American Outreach, are additionally challenging the mandate as named plaintiffs.

The seven consolidated cases at the Supreme Court are as follows:

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.

The primary sponsors of this prayer campaign are Priests for Life and the National Pro-life Religious Council, and they are joined by a coalition of 43 national and pro-life groups, including: American Life League, American Values, Americans United for Life, Americans United for Life Action, Anglicans For Life, California Civil Rights Foundation, Catholics Called To Witness, CEC For Life, Citizens for a Pro-life Society, Conservative Congregational Christian Conference, Couples for Christ Foundation for Family and Life, Evangelical Church Alliance, Expectant Mother Care, Faith and Action, Faithful Catholic Citizen, Gospel of Life Ministries, Heartbeat international, Hispanics for Life, Human Life Alliance, JillStanek.com, Life Coalition International, Life Issues Institute, LifeNews, LifeSiteNews.com, Lutherans for Life, MO Blacks for Life, National Black Pro-Life Union, National Clergy Council, National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, National Life Center, National Pro-life Center, Operation Rescue, Presbyterians Pro-Life, Pro-Life Action League, Pro-Life Action Ministries, Rachel’s Vineyard, Sidewalk Advocates for Life, Susan B. Anthony List, The Children First Foundation, The Heidi Group, The Justice Foundation/Operation Outcry, Tubman Truth, WallBuilders.

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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Media advisory: Reporting on Zubik vs. Burwell Supreme Court Case Against HHS Mandate

Monday, February 8th, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: February 8, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK — As a service to reporters and media outlets covering the Supreme Court case of Zubik vs. Burwell, we have listed here again the seven cases that have been consolidated. On November 6, 2015, the Supreme Court granted certiorari to the following cases challenging the HHS mandate, and consolidated them. The Court listed them here in the order in which they reached the Supreme Court:

(ORDER LIST: 577 U. S.)

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2015
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.

Within each of these cases are multiple plaintiffs who, while their names do not appear in the titles of the cases, each have their own stories and histories with these lawsuits.

Additionally, we want to advise reporters that there are four separate law firms representing the various cases, and they are as follows:

American Freedom Law Center (www.AmericanFreedomLawCenter.org)
(counsel for Priests for Life v. HHS)
Jones Day (www.JonesDay.com)
(counsel for Roman Catholic Archbishop v. Burwell and Zubik v. Burwell)
Alliance Defending Freedom (www.adflegal.org)
(counsel for Southern Nazarene University v. Burwell and Geneva College v. Burwell)
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty (www.becketfund.org)
(counsel for East Texas Baptist University v. Burwell and Little Sisters v. Burwell)

As these consolidated cases move forward to oral arguments on March 23 and to a decision in June, we urge reporters to remind their audiences of the diverse scope of the groups challenging the mandate and to respect that diversity.

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 to Argue Priests for Life Case March 23

Monday, February 1st, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 1, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

Prayer Rally set in Front of Court

Priests for Life will be in the US Supreme Court for oral arguments on Wednesday, March 23 in the case of Priests for Life vs. HHS. On that day, Priests for Life will hold a prayer rally in front of the steps of the Supreme Court, and invites all who are in favor of life and religious freedom to join them.

There will be prayers, speeches, and educational talks regarding what is happening in this case, and various church leaders, politicians, Presidential candidates, and pro-life leaders are being invited to take part in the rally.

Leading up to the oral arguments, and then leading up to the decision which is expected in June, Priests for Life invites all to take part in the prayer campaign against the HHS mandate, found at www.PrayerCampaign.org.

Six other similar cases have been consolidated by the high court with the Priests for Life case. Among the unique elements of the Priests for Life case is the fact that the entire mission and purpose of the organization is to end abortion, while the HHS mandate tries to force the plaintiffs into helping the government expand abortion. Moreover, in the Priests for Life case, there are three personal plaintiffs in addition to the organization itself: Fr. Frank Pavone, Janet Morana, and the niece of Martin Luther King Jr., Dr. Alveda King, who serves fulltime as Director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life.

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 opening brief with Supreme Court in HHS mandate challenge

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: January 6, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Priests for Life, along with other non-profit religious organizations challenging the Obamacare HHS mandate, has filed its opening brief with the Supreme Court. The filing sets the stage for oral arguments that will be held this spring in one of the most closely watched cases of the year.

“Priests for Life has been fighting the Obama administration’s attempted suppression of religious beliefs for four years,” said Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life and an individual plaintiff in the case. “We are excited the Supreme Court accepted our case. This brief marks an important step in determining, hopefully once and for all, that the government may not target charitable religious groups with heavy handed, politically motivated attacks.”

Priests for Life filed one of the first lawsuits against the Obama administration’s mandate that would require religious organizations to take part in practices that flagrantly violate their own teaching. The case, which has been consolidated with six others from across the country, is expected to be decided by the Supreme Court by the end of its term this June.

“Our brief makes clear that the Obama administration has no valid reason to require religious non-profit groups to comply with this regulation when it has already granted exemptions that allow tens of millions of other Americans to avoid it,” added Fr. Pavone. “Frankly, the President and his bureaucrats have far easier ways of achieving their stated goals than singling out Christians for coercion. As I’ve said before and will continue to declare, Priests for Life will not be complicit in evil, no matter who is mandating it.”

Priests for Life is leading a prayer campaign for victory in the Supreme Court and asks all believers to join this effort. Go to www.prayercampaign.org to find the prayer.

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: Pope Francis Upholds ‘Convictions of Conscience:’ Is Obama Listening?

Friday, September 25th, 2015

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: September 24, 2015

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

PHILADELPHIA – Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization, today issued the following statement on Pope Francis’s address to Congress.

“Pope Francis reminded us today that our government must have ‘respect for our differences and our convictions of conscience.’

“We at Priests for Life applaud Pope Francis’s affirmation of religious freedom in his remarks to Congress. His words highlight the need for Congress to take direct steps toward protecting rights of conscience and religious freedom, which are currently being violated by the HHS mandate. Priests for Life has been challenging this mandate in court for the last three-and-a-half years, and recently petitioned the Supreme Court to hear our case. We await the court’s decision.

Also, when Pope Francis declared that we must ‘protect and defend human life at every stage of its development,’ he reminded Congressional lawmakers of a fundamental principle of lawmaking, namely, that the law must protect human life from the moment it begins. Currently, our Congress, our president and our courts are failing to do that.

“This is not just one among many failures; it is a failure that redefines us as a nation. In the words of Pope St. John Paul II, this failure turns us into a “tyrant state.’

“This affirmation of Pope Francis to Congress today is not made in a vacuum. Every pope speaks and writes in the context of established Church teaching. His reference to the need to protect life from conception involves the body of teaching found in so many Church documents.

“There is no question that this is the most important foundation for advancing other human rights.”

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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