FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: January 27, 2014
Contact: Leslie Palma
NEW YORK, NY — Priests for Life has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review its challenge to the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive services mandate.
Attorneys from the American Freedom Law Center have invoked a special rule of the Supreme Court to ask for a review even before there has been a ruling on the challenge from the United States Court of Appeals. The petition says the case is of such “imperative public importance” that it requires an immediate ruling from the Supreme Court.
Specifically, the petition asks whether the contraceptive services mandate of the Affordable Care Act as applied to non-exempt, nonprofit religious organizations, such as Priests for Life, violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
In the petition, Robert Muise, American Freedom Law Center co-founder and senior counsel, noted that the Court this term will hear a challenge to the mandate filed by owners of for-profit businesses who claim their free exercise of religion is violated by the mandate. Because the mandate also applies to non-exempt faith-based non-profits, “it will serve the public interest by having this matter resolved immediately for all affected parties.”
Muise also said the Priests for Life suit, filed on behalf of the organization; its National Director, Father Frank Pavone; Executive Director, Janet Morana, and Director of African-American Outreach, Dr. Alveda King, is “uniquely situated to advance this important challenge.”
The petition notes that Priests for Life — one of the first groups to sue against the HHS mandate — is particularly well-suited to launch such a lawsuit. Not only does the mandate violate its religious freedom, as is true of so many other religious organizations, employers, and businesses, but in this case the organization exists precisely to fight the evils that the mandate seeks to expand.
Priests for Life was founded in 1991 “to spread … the Catholic Church’s position and central teaching regarding the value and inviolability of human life.” Contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients are all instruments of the culture of death, the petition declares, “and their use can never be approved, endorsed, facilitated, promoted, or supported in any way. Thus, this challenge goes to the very core of Priests for Life’s corporate raison d’être.”
“The contraceptive services mandate has been challenged by many religious non-profits, with varying outcomes,” Father Pavone said. “Clearly the Supreme Court will have to rule on one or more of these challenges, and we believe the Priests for Life case cuts right to the heart of the matter. Whatever the outcome, we cannot and will not obey this mandate. We decide how to practice our religion. The government does not decide for us.”
To follow the history and progress of our case, visit www.priestsforlife.org/HHSMandate.
Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.