Abortion Advocates, the Supreme Court, and Reasonableness

TownHall

The first case, Zubik vs. Burwell, which included Priests for Life vs. HHS and five other cases consolidated with it, was one in which I am a petitioner, and which turned on the question of whether the government has gone too far in expanding abortion. At issue is an HHS mandate that would force me and my organization to be complicit in that expansion. The Court did not resolve the issue but hopes the petitioners and the government can come to a resolution in the lower courts.

The second case, Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt, reviewed a Texas law (HB2) and the question of whether the government has gone too far in restricting abortion. Our organization filed a friend of the court brief on behalf of the State of Texas and of women harmed by abortion. The high court struck down the Texas law by a 5-3 decision that said the law posed an undue burden on women seeking an abortion.

The resolution of both cases, actually, should have been rather simple, and neither affects the legality of abortion. In the first case, the pro-life side has argued that the legality of abortion doesn’t mean the government can force someone to participate in it. That would seem to be reasonable. In the second case, the pro-life side has argued that the legality of abortion doesn’t mean the government can’t regulate it to increase the safety of the woman undergoing the procedure. That too, seems reasonable.

 

Read the entire Op-ed in Townhall: http://townhall.com/columnists/frankpavone/2016/06/29/draft-n2185119

Priests for Life Statement re: Decision in Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt

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The Supreme Court is now the Supreme Medical Board, setting its own standards for patient care in the United States.  This decision is an outrageous usurpation of legislative power and it only underscores the critical importance of electing a President who will nominate — and Senators who will confirm — justices to the Supreme Court who will adjudicate, not write the law.

http://www.priestsforlife.org/pressreleases/5752-priests-for-life-statement-re-decision-in-whole-womans-health-vs-hellerstedt

Today’s Pro-life Reflection: Sidewalk Counseling

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“God intended it for good to accomplish … the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20).

Reflection: One of the simplest ways to stop abortions is to go to the facilities where the abortions happen and talk to the women who are walking in. This is called “sidewalk counseling.” It is legal in every state, and has saved countless lives. Training is available from pro-life organizations.

Prayer: Lord, I pray today for all sidewalk counselors who are pleading for the lives of the unborn. Give them grace and wisdom, patience and perseverance. Save many lives and souls through their loving intervention, and call many others to join their ranks. Amen.

Should Abortionists Be Allowed to Abandon Their Patients?

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“At the ER, you tell the physicians that you’ve had an abortion and that you’re in a great deal of pain. They ask you what type of abortion procedure you had, but you do not know. They ask for your medical records, but you do not have them either. Doctors see that you’ve suffered a laceration and that your uterus is ruptured. They perform an emergency hysterectomy only to discover that the baby you thought was aborted had actually been shoved into your abdominal cavity. Doctors remove your dead child, but can’t find a missing limb.”

Read the entire op-ed in Breitbart: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/06/22/texas-abortion-case-abortionists-allowed-abandon-patients/

Waiting For Obama On Religious Liberty – Priests for Life is ready to reach a solution, as the Supreme Court directed.

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The Supreme Court could have settled the question of whether federal bureaucrats may issue punishing, perhaps incapacitating, fines to faith-based organizations that refuse to participate in what we believe to be evil. Instead, the justices sent all of the cases in Zubik back to the four federal circuit courts that heard them first. The high court also asked those appeals courts to step away momentarily and give the two sides time to resolve the case on their own.

What will the administration do now? The White House’s latest “accommodation” proposal for religious nonprofit charities, schools and other organizations did not satisfy the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The proposal and each of its previous versions required faith-based groups seeking an exemption from the mandate to submit a form to an authority. Without this initiating action, abortion-causing drugs would not be made available to our employees. The basic requirement that we be complicit in the provision of abortifacients and other life-denying drugs, devices and procedures was a part of every government proposal. When we responded that we are forbidden by our faith to take part in this scheme—the government effectively retorted, “So what?

But both sides in Zubik have told the Supreme Court that a solution is theoretically possible.

For instance, the administration could, for once, actually listen to the Zubik petitioners—and to the scores of other faith-based groups that have lawsuits pending in lower courts—and propose a solution that does not hijack our health-insurance plans. The administration could, for example, make abortifacient/contraceptive coverage available to religious nonprofit employees through the ObamaCare exchanges, Title X (the federal program devoted to family-planning services), or separate arrangements with our own or another insurance company. In other words, don’t involve us, or the health-insurance plan we offer our employees, in the effort to expand coverage of abortion-inducing drugs.

The administration might be tempted to come up with a proposal that satisfies only those groups that have third-party insurance coverage—and not those that self-insure. This wouldn’t be acceptable, because self-insurers underwrite their own health-insurance plans and are, practically speaking, their own insurance companies. A government “accommodation” that offered as its only option a requirement that insurers of religious nonprofit groups offer the employees of those groups separate plans for abortifacients and contraceptives would still force self-insured religious groups to violate their faith.

Read the entire article in The Wall Street Journal: http://www.wsj.com/articles/waiting-for-obama-on-religious-liberty-1465163311

Fr. Pavone: Anti-coercion bill in Michigan is pro-woman

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“We know through our decades of work with our Rachel’s Vineyard and the Silent No More Awareness Campaign ministries that many women are coerced into abortion. Where is freedom of choice when women are forced by parents, boyfriends or husbands to end the life of the child they are carrying?

Read the entire Press Release: http://www.priestsforlife.org/library/5729-fr-pavone-anti-coercion-bill-in-michigan-is-pro-woman

Supreme Court Order in Priests for Life vs. HHS (Part of Zubik vs. Burwell).. Further Comments from Priests for Life

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“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 U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit.”

 

Read the entire Statement from Priests for Life: http://www.priestsforlife.org/pressreleases/5715-supreme-court-order-in-priests-for-life-vs-hhs

Today’s Pro-life Reflection: God and man

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“There is one mediator between God and man, Christ Jesus, himself a man” (1 Timothy 2:5).

Reflection: Jesus is humanity’s only mediator with God precisely because he is both God and human, and his humanity comes from Mary. All her importance flows from her Son, and our worship of the Son naturally leads to honoring his mother. Marian devotion teaches us something about our pro-life commitment. Mother and child belong together. To hurt one is to hurt the other; to love one is to love the other.

Prayer: Mary, thank you for being the mother of Jesus, who now shares our humanity. Teach us to honor every mother and child. Amen.

Fr. Pavone: Ample evidence to probe sale of baby parts

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“Former prosecutors testified before a Congressional committee today that there is ample evidence to warrant further investigation into the abortion industry’s longtime practice of harvesting and selling aborted babies’ body parts.  I would add that there’s a moral imperative that our nation put a halt to this horrendous practice that exploits women and treats non-consenting humans like lab rats.”

 

Fr. Pavone confident Panel on Infant Lives will uncover violations of federal law on sale of baby parts

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“Former federal prosecutors will testify at today’s House hearing on the pricing of fetal tissue that there is probable cause to believe that abortion businesses have violated federal law,” stated Fr. Pavone.  “We know that they have been violating the law for decades; the panel’s work will confirm this.”

Read the entire press release:

http://www.priestsforlife.org/pressreleases/5683-fr-pavone-confident-panel-on-infant-lives-will-uncover-violations-of-federal-law-on-sale-of-baby-parts