Archive for the ‘SCOTUS’ Category

Priests for Life Asks Court to Wait Until After Inauguration for Action on #HHSMandate Case

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 1, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277 or media@priestsforlife.org

Priests for Life, one of the first of scores of organizations and ministries to launch a federal challenge against the HHS Mandate, announced today that status reports were filed yesterday in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Both the government and the plaintiffs urged the court to delay any further action on the case for another ninety days, that is, until well after the Trump Administration has come into power.

Priests for Life, together with the Archdiocese of Washington and several other petitioners, have a consolidated case which the US Supreme Court considered in its last term and then sent back to the Court of Appeals, along with five other cases being considered by three other appellate courts. A total of 37 petitioners were heard by the Supreme Court in these cases.

“As far as the courts are concerned, this case is still not resolved. We have been doing what the Supreme Court asked, that is, engaging in conversations with the government regarding how this mandate needs to be changed to protect our religious freedom. The government also asked the public to weigh in with comments on the matter.

“But now, with the recent electoral victories for the pro-life side, we are confident that the Trump Administration will resolve this case by doing away with the HHS mandate, so that no citizen ever feels forced between following the law and following his/her faith,” Fr. Pavone explained.

In its status report, the government stated, “The Departments are evaluating the information submitted to determine whether changes to the current accommodation regulations should be made and, if so, to inform the nature of those changes.”

Meanwhile, the status update on behalf of Priests for Life and the Washington Archdiocese stated, “Plaintiffs-Appellants remain hopeful that the Government will modify its regulations in a way that will accommodate Plaintiffs-Appellants’ religious objections, thus resolving the case without further litigation.”

Fr. Pavone added, “The government has often told us that it does not understand our religious objections, despite the thorough explanations we have given them. But in the end, I have told them that their duty is not to understand our beliefs but rather to protect them.”

We commend to the prayers of all believers the swift resolution of this HHS mandate controversy and the full protection of everyone’s religious freedom. See prayers for this intention at www.PrayerCampaign.org.

To read the status updates and other information about the case, please 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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Fr. Frank Pavone on Debate: Composition of the Supreme Court will determine direction of the country for next generation

Monday, October 10th, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: October 9, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK – Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, issued the following statement following the second presidential debate Sunday night.

“One candidate, Hillary Clinton, said in the second presidential debate that she would appoint a justice to the Supreme Court who would uphold Roe v. Wade, the decision that made abortion on demand legally permissible. One candidate, Donald Trump, said he would appoint a justice with views similar to those of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who said that there was nothing in the Constitution to justify Roe. The difference in the candidates’ answers couldn’t be clearer or more important.

“To say that this election presents stark contrasts in the two candidates is an understatement. I applaud audience member Beth Miller,who asked the Supreme Court question because it really was the supreme moment of the night. Whoever controls the composition of the Supreme Court in the next four years will, in an untold number of ways, control the direction of the country for the next generation.”

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. Frank Pavone Calls for Public Support for Priests for Life vs. HHS and Defense of Religious Liberty

Monday, July 25th, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: July 25, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK – Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, today urged religious believers to respond to the Obama administration’s new “Request for Information” in the ongoing controversy regarding the HHS mandate.

“If the government really wants to know what Americans think about its so-called HHS mandate, then let’s tell them,” said Fr. Pavone. “Believers need to speak up and let their voices be heard during the next two months.”

The government’s just-announced public comment period is the latest development in the more than four-year legal battle that Priests for Life and other religious non-profit groups have fought — all the way to the Supreme Court in the consolidated case of Zubik vs. Burwell — against the Obama administration’s attempt to force them to violate their faith. The HHS mandate, as written by federal bureaucrats, would involve religiously based organizations in the distribution of abortion causing drugs and other morally objectionable items to their employees.

Last May, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the lower court decisions in Priests for Life vs. HHS and the six other related cases that the Court had heard. The lower courts had ruled against Priests for Life and the other petitioners, holding that the government could order religious charities, schools, and other entities to comply with its “contraceptive mandate” or pay crippling fines.

But the eight Supreme Court Justices sent Priests for Life’s case and six others back to lower federal appeals courts with the instruction that the parties involved should attempt to reach a resolution that “accommodates [the groups’] religious exercise while at the same time ensuring that women covered by petitioners’ health plans ‘receive full and equal health coverage, including contra¬ceptive coverage.’”

And, in fact, conversations between the government and the petitioners have been ongoing. Now, however, the government is also asking for the public’s suggestions on how to achieve a resolution.

“We ask all believers to stand with Priests for Life and the many others who have fought against the government’s attack on religious liberty,” added Fr. Pavone. “To assist the public, we are providing detailed guidance on how to participate in this comment period at www.IStandWithPFL.com.”

Included at www.IStandWithPFL.com are step-by-step instructions on how to file comments with the government by email, regular mail, express or overnight mail, or in-person delivery. Also posted at the website are helpful videos, talking points, articles and other materials explaining the HHS mandate, why it threatens the free exercise of religion, and how citizens can help defend against this threat by sending their opinions to the administration.

“The deadline for public comments is September 20,” Fr. Pavone concluded. “It’s imperative that those of us who value freedom of religion and human life make our voices heard as soon as possible!”

In addition to the updates that will be posted at www.IStandWithPFL.com, Priests for Life will also hold a public webcast to assist interested Churches, organizations, and private citizens to submit their comments in this public process. The date will be announced shortly at 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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Evangelist Alveda King: Hey SCOTUS! Serve women; save babies.

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

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Evangelist Alveda King, director of Civil Rights for the Unborn with Priests for Life, citing recent quotes from a seemingly unlikely pair of social justice headliners, Walter Hoye of Issues4Life and BET Award Winner Jessie Williams, notes that SCOTUS is out of touch with the American Dream.

In a not so surprising move yesterday, SCOTUS overturned Texas law that sought to protect women from substandard care in Texas abortion mills. “This decision will hurt women and kill babies,” King said.

“Don’t be misled — you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant.”(Galatians 6:7 NLT)

Citing a report from Walter Hoye at issues4life foundation, King noted abortion is the number one killer of Blacks in America; higher than heart attacks, diabetes, and hypertension. Hoye states that according to Violence Policy Center, there were 6,217 Black American homicides for the year 2013. When compared to Black American abortions, the 429,000 abortions in Black America for 2013 represent 69 times the number of Black American homicides.

Hoye also cited a recent analysis by Dennis Howard, President of the Movement for a Better America, who has written extensively on abortion demographics, which shows that out of every 1,680 pregnant Black American women 15-44, 1,000 will give birth to their child and 680 will abort their baby. The analysis was based on data from the U.S. Statistical Abstract for 2013 and the National Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 64, No. 1 dated January 15, 2015.

King also applauded remarks by Jessie Williams, the actor/activist who accepted the recent BET Humanitarian Award for his work in the black community. After going through his customary thank yous and acknowledgements, Williams said: “A system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do.”

Connecting the dots, King summed it up pointing that the fight for freedom begins in the womb; and by quoting her Uncle MLK and colleague Rev. Frank Pavone: “Hey SCOTUS, you and the abortion industry can’t serve the public by killing the public. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere!”

King added: “Break every chain. In the end, natural law, God’s law will always trump common law. Do not fear or be confused or deceived. Remain prayerful. Keep looking up. God will have the final word in this matter.”

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ExposeAbortion.com Effort Launched in Response to Supreme Court Decision

Monday, June 27th, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: June 27, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK — Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, announced today that his organization is re-launching and intensifying ExposeAbortion.com, by which the abortion industry will be exposed to the light of day and the conscience of the American public.

“Obviously, the Supreme Court decision in Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt demonstrates that not enough people know and care about the fact that the abortion industry is an unscrupulous, unregulated industry that cares no more for women than for the children it kills and throws away,” Fr. Pavone explained.

“Consistent with our approach to abortion over the last 25 years, we will increase our efforts to expose it. ExposeAbortion.com will be the central focus for efforts, both online and in the streets, in legislators and in courts, in churches and in classrooms, to expose abortion on several levels:

a) the procedure itself, via photos, diagrams and videos (www.Unborn.info);
b) the impact on women, men, and families via the testimonies of our Silent No More Awareness Campaign (www.SilentNoMore.com); and
c) the corruption of the abortion industry, via testimonies of former and current abortionists and undercover investigations.

“We will call upon all people of good will to join us in this effort, which is not based on religious arguments, but simply on the facts of what abortion is and what it does,” Fr. Pavone concluded.

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: Priests for Life to Host Telephone Press Conference Monday After Ruling in Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt

Friday, June 24th, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: June 24, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

WASHINGTON, D.C. — With the U.S. Supreme Court ruling expected Monday, June 27, in the Texas abortion case Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt — a case that could have far-reaching implications for abortion facilities across the country — Priests for Life will host a teleconference for the media at 11:30 a.m. that day.

On the call will be the National Director of Priests for Life, Father Frank Pavone, who is a priest of Amarillo, Texas; State Representative Jodie Laubenburg, who authored, carried, and passed House Bill 2 in the Texas legislature; Kyleen Wright, president of Texans for Life Coalition, who spearheaded the inclusion of the “admitting privileges” portion of the law, and Carol Everett, founder of The Heidi Group and a former abortion provider, who spearheaded the inclusion of the “ambulatory surgical center” portion of the law.

To take part in the call, dial 712-432-0700, then dial access code 619300#

Priests for Life submitted a “Friend of the Court” brief in this case, on behalf of the women of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, who have had abortions and share their testimonies about why laws like the one in Texas is necessary.

Any questions may be directed to Leslie Palma, Priests for Life Director of Communications, at 347-286-7277 or media@priestsforlife.org

You can read a series of op-eds published by Fr. Frank about this case here.

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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What These Ears Heard Donald Trump Say

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

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“Of course pray for everybody… [but] we can’t be, again, politically correct and say we pray for all of our leaders, because all of your [political] leaders are selling Christianity down the tubes, selling the evangelicals down the tubes. And it’s a very, very bad thing that’s happening.” Donald Trump

“Don’t pray to be politically correct. Pray to be spiritually correct.” Alveda King

Yesterday, sitting among 1,000 Judeo-Christian apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, all spiritual leaders in America at a “Conversation with Donald Trump and Ben Carson” and emceed by Mike Huckabee, I heard Donald Trump say “pray for everybody” but “don’t be politically correct.”

Since the meeting was closed to media reporting, we need to understand that information can only trickle out through the biased perspectives of the attendees, me included.

If we are completely honest, we can agree that the main, number one issue of concern presented to Mr. Trump by the body as a whole was religious liberty. Mr. Trump assured the attendees that protecting religious liberty is a primary concern for him and is at the top of his to do list.

He further promised to appoint Prolife Supreme Court justices. He promised that “America will be free to say Merry Christmas” again. He promised economic justice as a means of lessening the bands of racism. He promised safe borders for America. He promised to strengthen our military to protect our nation. He gave God the credit for giving him intelligent children. So sorry you couldn’t be there to hear all of this.

At no time did Mr. Trump advise that Americans need to disobey the Bible. Those words did not come out of his mouth.

Looking forward, the estimated 1,000 leaders in the room have platforms that impact millions of Americans. Now our challenge is to now turn away from railing at each other and the candidates and truly obey the Bible ourselves.

Please join me now in praying for Mr. Trump, Mrs. Clinton, all congressional, gubernatorial, state, county and local candidates, that God will, according to Romans 13 and 1 Timothy 2:2 bless us so that America can have peace and prosperity.

Amen?

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Media Advisory: Priests for Life to Host Press Conference Following Ruling in Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: June 16, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

With the U.S. Supreme Court expected to rule as early as today on a Texas abortion case that could have far-reaching implications for facilities across the country, Priests for Life will host a teleconference for the media shortly after the ruling is announced.

On the call will be the National Director of Priests for Life, Father Frank Pavone, who is a priest of Amarillo Texas; State Representative Jodie Laubenburg, who authored, carried, and passed House Bill 2 in the Texas legislature; Kyleen Wright, president of Texans for Life Coalition, who spearheaded the inclusion of the “admitting privileges” portion of the law, and Carol Everett, founder of The Heidi Group and a former abortion provider, who spearheaded the inclusion of the “ambulatory surgical center” portion of the law.

Priests for Life also submitted a “Friend of the Court” brief in this case, on behalf of the women of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, who have had abortions and share their testimonies about why laws like the one Texas is defending are necessary.

As soon as the ruling is announced, Priests for Life will send an email with precise instructions for dialing into the conference, and a list of the participants.

All questions may be directed to Leslie Palma, Priests for Life Director of Communications, as 347-286-7277 or media@priestsforlife.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 vs. HHS to Return to Judge Merrick Garland

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: May 17, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Fr. Frank Pavone, a petitioner in the case of Priests for Life vs. HHS, one of the cases that has been challenging the HHS mandate in the U.S. Supreme Court, commented today on the fact that, thanks to yesterday’s action by the high court, the Priests for Life case now returns to the jurisdiction of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The Chief Judge of that Circuit Court is Merrick Garland, President Obama’s choice to replace Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled against Priests for Life (and the Archdiocese of Washington, whose case the court consolidated with that of Priests for Life) in November 2014, nearly three years after Priests for Life became the fourth group in the nation to challenge the HHS mandate.

Priests for Life asked for a rehearing in the Court of Appeals by the entire body of judges, but that request was denied in May 2015. The appeal was then made to the Supreme Court, which granted cert last November.

“Judge Garland did not side with us on this case; now, however, that we are back in his court, we come with even stronger arguments,” Fr. Pavone said, referring to the additional briefings that the Supreme Court requested of the petitioners and the government. The briefings show that both sides agree there is a way forward by which the government can pursue its objectives of contraceptive coverage and that the petitioners can be free of any involvement in the process.

“It’s not that the arguments necessarily sway the judges,” Fr. Pavone added. “It’s that the strength of our arguments reveals the extremism of the government and of the judges who side with them. The progress of the Priests for Life vs. HHS case in Judge Garland’s court will again shed light on the kind of people that a Democratic President will nominate for the Supreme Court and other federal courts, and will vividly remind the voters what is at stake in this election.”

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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Evangelist Alveda King: The Babies’ Blood is Crying Out as Courts Scramble to Wash Hands in Reversal Move

Monday, May 16th, 2016

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“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.”

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