STATEN ISLAND, NY – A Brooklyn federal court ruling on the Archdiocese of New York’s lawsuit against the HHS mandate was described as “encouraging” by Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life.
In a ruling on Dec. 5, U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan rejected the argument of the Department of Health and Human Services that the lawsuit was premature and should be dismissed.
As reported by EWTN News, the judge said “uncertain future harms” have present effects that are sufficient to grant standing needed to challenge the federal regulation. Cogan also compared the mandate to a “speeding train that is coming towards plaintiffs” that requires them to incur present costs ahead of the mandate’s implementation.
“This ruling is encouraging to Priests for Life because we have a lawsuit against the same mandate, here in the same federal court. The judge has recognized what we have been maintaining all along, namely, that we don’t have to wait for further harm to defend ourselves now."
The HHS mandate requires most employers with 50 or more workers to provide, with no co-pay, insurance coverage for sterilization and contraceptives, including some abortion-causing drugs. Organizations that violate the federal rule, including Priests for Life, must pay fines of $100 per employee per day.
But Father Pavone also noted that different courts have issued widely divergent rulings as they take up 40 lawsuits against the mandate. In fact, even Judge Cogan ruled against the Diocese of Rockville Centre and its Catholic Charities organization in Wednesday’s decision.
“The differences in these rulings suggest that the U.S. Supreme Court may have the final word on this unjust situation,” he said. “I remain certain that the Supreme Court will have no choice but to rule in favor of religious freedom, and against this unjust mandate.”
"One more thing," Fr. Pavone added. "I encourage other dioceses and ministries to jump into the fray. Don't be afraid of the battle. We should sue the hell out of the Obama Administration."
Father Pavone issued an invitation for all American citizens to express their solidarity with Priests for Life by signing the “Citizens’ Amicus Brief” at www.priestsforlife.org/hhsmandate/amicus-brief.aspx
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.