The spokesman for a Catholic pro-life group predicts that unless the courts intervene, civil disobedience -- and maybe even prison time -- could result in the clash between the Obama administration and the church over religious freedom.
Thus far, 40 Christian organizations and businesses have filed suit to block the HHS mandate requiring free insurance coverage of contraception, abortion-causing drugs, and sterilization. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, a Catholic pro-life group, tells OneNewsNow that the church is on a collision course with the administration, which has refused to provide a broad religious exemption that would protect the rights of people of faith who oppose such practices on religious grounds.
The churches, says Pavone, are not going to back down.
"They're not going to change their teaching -- and apparently the administration, as arrogant as it is, isn't going to change either," he adds. "So what does that mean? It certainly means a conflict; it means a clash; it means perhaps civil disobedience and prison for some people."
But Pavone says it also could mean "a big stain on the integrity of the administration."
The next election cycle is two years away, and Pavone is convinced pro-life groups will have to work harder to educate the public on the administration's attack on religious freedom.
"We know that the people that we do reach do understand the issues," he tells OneNewsNow. "The issues themselves are persuasive -- life and marriage and freedom -- but we've got to do a better job of targeting, of marketing, and frankly we need a lot more support from the grassroots people.
"If people believe in this kind of work that conservative groups are doing, they've got to get behind it with their time and also with their resources."
On Friday, the American Freedom Law Center -- on behalf of Priests for Life -- filed a motion in a joint federal lawsuit requesting an immediate halt to enforcement of the HHS mandate. AFLC describes the mandate as "a direct attack on religious freedom" that conflicts with their client's deeply held religious beliefs.