Archive for the ‘Contraception’ Category

Lawsuits against HHS mandate continue with Obama re-election

Friday, November 9th, 2012





 

STATEN ISLAND, NY — Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, welcomed news that the first lawsuit filed against the Obama administration’s HHS mandate will be heard by a federal appeals court.

The suit, brought by Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina, will be heard Dec. 14 by the U.S. Court of Appeal for the District of Columbia.

Priests for Life’s lawsuit, filed in February, was the fourth of some 30 actions that challenge the constitutionality of the mandate.

“A different outcome on Election Day, followed by the elimination of this mandate, would have resolved the problems these lawsuits seek to correct. Now, however, they are more important than ever,” said Father Pavone. “This administration is on a collision course with the Catholic Church, and with anyone who treasures the religious liberty guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. It’s encouraging that the Court of Appeals has decided to hear the Belmont Abbey suit, and I’m confident Priests for Life’s suit also will have its day in court and that we will prevail.

“Meanwhile, we invite all citizens to express their solidarity with us 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.

Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.






What Kind of Religious Freedom Do We Want?

Monday, August 6th, 2012





We are living at a time when the Church in the United States must vigorously defend herself against attacks on religious freedom. In particular, the government is trying to force believers to violate their consciences when it comes to what kind of services their companies’ health insurance policies will cover. Priests for Life is proud to have launched one of the first lawsuits against this unjust mandate of our government, and we are confident we will prevail.

Yet part of defending religious freedom is defending a clear understanding of what it is. We don’t only have to defend it against the government; we have to defend it from misunderstanding and misinterpretation.

And one of the most dangerous misunderstandings is to confuse religious freedom with relativism — to think, in other words, that it’s simply the idea that “you can practice your religion if you let me practice mine,” because, after all, one religion is as good as the next.

But it’s not. There is such a thing as religious truth, and moral truth, and we are capable of knowing them.

At the core of authentic religious freedom is the conviction that human persons, because of their dignity, must seek the truth and embrace it freely — not the idea that such truth does not exist or is a product of one’s own making.

Put another way, freedom does not create truth; it is meant to lead to truth.

Professor Janet Smith wrote recently,

“Bishop William Lori argued that making Catholics fund contraceptives, abortifacient contraception and sterilizations is like making kosher delis serve pork. Actually, it is more like making all of us, and particularly the Anti-Smoking League, fund cigarettes.

“Jews do not argue that eating pork is something no one should do, but Catholics do argue that using contraception is something no one should do; among other reasons, the Church condemns it as against the natural law; it is against the health of women, the health of relationships and the health of society.”  (National Catholic Register, March 12, 2012)

This is a critically important point. Many are fond of saying that this fight isn’t about the issues of contraception and abortion. On the other hand, it cannot be disconnected from them. The other side doesn’t disconnect them.

Abortion advocate Patricia Baird Windle declared that abortion is part of her religion. ” You practice your religion and let me practice mine. My religion is a holy ritual of child sacrifice,” she has declared. Ginette Paris wrote the book The Sacrament of Abortion. And when the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances law was passed in 1994, it included not only abortion clinics but also houses of worship. In the days of Operation Rescue, when pro-life activists blockaded abortion clinics, some abortion advocates retaliated by blockading Churches. They were returning insult for insult, for to them, the clinic is their place of worship.

So let’s be sure we’re clear about what kind of religious liberty we want to defend: one that serves the truth about life!

Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.






Priests for Life and Fr. Pavone declare “Beginning of the End” of the HHS Mandate

Monday, July 30th, 2012





STATEN ISLAND, NY – Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, released the following statement today regarding the preliminary injunction issued in a lawsuit filed by a private company against the Health and Human Services contraception mandate. The ruling marks the first legal victory over the mandate.

 “This decision marks the beginning of the end of the unjust and unconstitutional HHS mandate. Even though the Aug. 1 deadline for compliance is still in effect for organizations like Priests for Life, it’s good news that the suit filed by the owners of Hercules Industries has been successful in holding off, at least temporarily, this mandate that is so clearly a violation of the religious freedom guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the laws of our country.This gives us reason to be optimistic as our own lawsuit progresses.

 “But no matter what happens, there is no way we will comply with a law that calls for us to violate our consciences by paying for contraception, abortifacient drugs and sterilization services.”

In Newland vs. Sebelius, the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado ruled on July 27 that the constitutional and statutory rights of the plaintiffs – siblings who own a heating and air conditioning company – would be harmed by enforcement of the HHS mandate. Judge John L. Kane also found that Hercules likely would prevail in its claim that the mandate is a violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

In his ruling, the judge noted that Hercules’ owners, William Newland, Paul Newland, James Newland, and Christine Ketterhagen, run their company according to Catholic principles and teachings, even when those religious, ethical and moral teachings impact their profits.

Fr. Pavone added, “Priests for Life is proud to be in the company of the Newlands and so many others who are not willing to set aside their deeply held beliefs, or their legal rights, even when threatened with economic catastrophe. We are confident that our lawsuit, filed Feb. 15, will protect us from the imposition of more than $1 million a year in fines.

“In addition to pressing on with our legal action, Priests for Life will also help once again to organize nationwide rallies for religious freedom, to take place on Saturday, October 20.”

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.

Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.






Today’s Pro-Life Reflection

Monday, July 30th, 2012





 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This reflection is taken from my book Pro-Life Reflections for Every Day, which is available for purchase at: ProLifeReflectionsForEveryDay.org

“None of us lives for himself, and none of us dies for himself. If we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, if we live or die, we are the Lord’s” (Rom. 14:7-8).

Reflection: There are two basic truths that each person has to admit in this life: 1. There is a God. 2. It isn’t me. To understand these lessons is to understand why evils like contraception, abortion, and euthanasia are wrong. Only God has absolute dominion over human life and over its coming and going.

Prayer: In life and death, O Lord, abide with me. I am yours. Amen.

Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.






Fr. Pavone welcomes news of latest lawsuit against HHS mandate

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012





 Father Frank issued the following statement today about the latest lawsuit to be filed against the HHS contraception mandate:

“I congratulate Legatus for deciding to jump into the legal assault on the HHS Mandate.  This brings the total to ten lawsuits, including that of Priests for Life. It is a strategic benefit to have various lawsuits in different parts of the country, so that more courts get involved in ruling on the issues involved, and creating the potential kind of conflict that the Supreme Court may be more likely to resolve.”

Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.






Catholic Group Responds to Obama’s Desperate Attempt

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012





Staten Island, NY — Priests for Life, a New York-based international pro-life organization of Catholic clergy and laity, today announced that their attorneys have responded to the Obama Administration’s desperate attempt to “shut down” the group’s lawsuit that’s been filed to stop ObamaCare from violating the conscience and morals of Americans.

Recently, Obama’s lawyers sent a letter to the court announcing its intention to file a motion to dismiss — claiming erroneously that Priests for Life does not have legal “standing” to bring the lawsuit, and that the organization hasn’t been “injured” yet because the regulations won’t take effect until January.

Priests for Life lead attorney Charles LiMandri argued that the government is simply wrong.  He wrote in his response, “Priests for Life has standing, its claims are ripe for review, and this court is ‘obliged’ to address the merits of each.”

LiMandri quotes Thomas v. Union Carbide Agric. Prod. Co., 473 U.S. at 581 (1985)—a case whose precedence applies here: “One does not have to await the consummation of threatened injury to obtain preventive relief.”

The lawsuit that scares the Obama Administration, Priests for Life v. Sebelius, seeks to permanently block the implementation of the HHS mandate that imposes clear violations of conscience upon any and all citizens who morally object to abortion and contraception.

“Since the HHS mandate directly affects Priests for Life—and every U.S. citizen—through compulsory funding of contraception and abortion-inducing drugs and devices, our lawsuit is 100 percent legitimate,” says LiMandri.

LiMandri points out that the HHS ‘Abortion Mandate’ forces Priests for Life to either pay for abortion-causing pills…promote them…or be penalized if their employee health-care plan doesn’t comply with the audacious dictatorial decrees of ObamaCare.

“According to the ObamaCare law as it’s written, Priests for Life would be fined as much as $100 per day, per employee.  This would cost Priests for Life nearly $2 million a year in fines, and we’re not going to accept this at all.”

Priests for Life is leading the way with this legal challenge of the constitutionality of ObamaCare based on religious freedom issues.

Fr. Frank states, “We urge our Priests for Life family and all concerned Americans to pray for the success of this legal battle.  In my travels across the nation, I see the strength and faith of the American people, and I know we will prevail.”

Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.






Obama Lawyers Desperately Try to “Dismiss” Lawsuit

Thursday, April 26th, 2012





 

Staten Island, NY — Priests for Life announced late yesterday that the Obama Administration’s lawyers are trying desperately to “shut down” the lawsuit that’s been filed to stop ObamaCare from violating the conscience and morals of America’s Catholics.

The lawsuit, Priests for Life v. Sebelius, seeks to permanently block the implementation of the HHS mandate that imposes clear violations of conscience upon any and all citizens who morally object to abortion and contraception.

“Since the HHS mandate directly affects Priests for Life – and every U.S. citizen – through compulsory funding of contraception and abortion-inducing drugs and devices, our lawsuit is 100 percent legitimate,” says Priests for Life’s lead attorney Charles LiMandri.

LiMandri elaborates: “And yet, the Obama lawyers are trying to say that we don’t have ‘standing’ because the abortion mandate ‘doesn’t go into effect’ for PFL for several months.  This is a thoroughly ridiculous and embarrassing argument for Obama’s attorneys to make.  It shows how desperate they are to dismiss our lawsuit – even to the point of resorting to outrageous arguments such as the ones they’re using now.”

LiMandri points out that the HHS ‘Abortion Mandate’ forces Priests for Life to either pay for abortion-causing pills… promote them… or be heavily fined if their employee health-care plan doesn’t comply with the audacious dictatorial decrees of ObamaCare.

“According to the ObamaCare law as it’s written, Priests for Life would be fined as much as $100 per day, per employee.  This could cost Priests for Life over $1 million a year in fines.  We’re not going to accept this at all.”

Priests for Life is preparing its response, which must be filed with the court by April 30, with the assistance of the American Freedom Law Center.  The group’s attorneys are working overtime to respond so quickly.

Fr. Frank commented, “As our attorneys do their work, I ask our supporters to join in our prayer campaign and our Citizens’ Amicus brief.  Of this I am confident: We will prevail, life will prevail!”

Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.






The Nine Lawsuits for Religious Freedom: A Brief Rundown of the Arguments

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012





There are now nine lawsuits, including one brought by Priests for Life, which have been filed in federal district courts around the country challenging the Obama administration’s HHS mandate that requires employers to provide coverage for activities that many of them believe people should not do.

There is value to having multiple lawsuits, because, having been introduced in different judicial jurisdictions around the country, some may be victorious and others not, hence setting up a federal conflict that the Supreme Court is more likely to address.

There are similarities and differences in the legal arguments of the nine lawsuits.

First Amendment – Religious Liberty

The first and most obvious objection to the mandate is that it infringes on the free exercise of religion which the Constitution guarantees to every American.  The mandate forces health insurers, employers, and employees to violate their own religious faiths by providing or purchasing items and services that their faiths strictly prohibit.  Moreover, it penalizes the practice of religion by imposing hefty government fines on employers who stop providing employee health insurance rather than deny their beliefs.  This is exactly the type of government behavior that the First Amendment was designed to prevent.

Religious Freedom Restoration Act

A second argument is that the mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).  This 1993 law stops the federal government from restricting religious belief unless it can show a “compelling government interest” for doing so.  Providing subsidized abortifacients, birth control, and sterilization hardly seems to be a “compelling government interest” to interfere in religion.

First Amendment – Free Speech

Another common cause of action in the nine lawsuits is that the Obamacare mandate violates the free speech clause of the First Amendment.  Not only does the mandate force employers and employees to pay for objectionable items and procedures, but they also have to fund education and counseling for those same things.  In other words, people of faith would be forced to endorse with their involuntary financial contributions speech that contradicts their beliefs.

Administrative Procedure Act

The lawsuits by Priests for Life and others also allege that the Obama administration’s actions in putting forth the mandate for abortifacient/contraceptive coverage did not follow proper government procedures.

Overburdening State Medicaid Programs

The lawsuit brought by seven states, Bruning v. Sebelius, adds that state Medicaid programs will be overrun with new enrollees because of the mandate.  The states argue that religiously affiliated employers will either stop offering health insurance or, because they cannot afford the government fines for not offering employee health insurance, shut down completely.  The result of either action will be more people without health insurance, which under Obamacare, will mean more people moving to Medicaid coverage.  The increased financial strain on state budgets will be enormous.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan has pointed out that the courts are likely the best defense against the HHS mandate.  May God give success to the efforts of Priests for Life, other religiously affiliated employers, religious individuals, states, and even a private commercial business who have all brought suits to stop this mandate.

For more information on the mandate and the lawsuits, see priestsforlife.org/hhsmandate.

Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.






U.S. Citizens Sign On to “Amicus Brief” in Support of Lawsuit Against ObamaCare

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012





Staten Island, NY — Priests for Life, a New York-based international pro-life organization of Catholic clergy and laity, today announced that any and all U.S. citizens who are opposed to the unjust HHS mandate can sign on to a Citizens “Amicus Brief” in support of the organization’s lawsuit against the Obama Administration.

The lawsuit, Priests for Life v. Sebelius, seeks to permanently block the implementation of the HHS mandate that imposes clear violations of conscience upon any and all citizens who morally object to abortion and contraception.

“Since the HHS mandate directly affects every U.S. citizen through compulsory funding of contraception and abortion-inducing drugs and devices, this effort gives everyone a chance to let their voice be heard if they oppose the mandate,” says Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life.

Father Pavone elaborates: “Through various forms of compulsion, the HHS mandate forces all citizens to either pay for abortion-causing pills…promote them…or be penalized if citizens choose not to comply with these audacious dictatorial decrees. Americans will have no say in the matter if the HHS ruling isn’t repealed, rescinded, or rejected.”

One part of the lawsuit addresses the “forced speech” aspect of the controversial Health and Human Services mandate. According to the HHS regulations, virtually all U.S. employers will not only be forced to pay for 100% of an employee’s prescription for abortion-causing drugs, but also be forced to instruct the employee on how to obtain these morally-objectionable prescriptions and get them for free.

“This falls under the forbidden rubric of ‘forced speech’ – a corollary violation of every citizen’s right to free speech under the Constitution,” says lead attorney Charles LiMandri. Priests for Life is seeking injunctive relief from this unconstitutional decree, and inviting all concerned U.S. citizens to join them by signing on to the Citizens “Amicus Brief.”

Priests for Life has made it possible for everyone to sign on to the Citizens “Amicus Brief” with just the click of a mouse button by going to repealtheabortionmandate.com.

Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.






Priests for Life Associate Director is Arrested Outside White House

Thursday, February 16th, 2012





Click here for photos

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Father Denis Wilde, OSA, associate director of Priests for Life, was among six people arrested today during a peaceful protest outside the White House.

Father Wilde was representing Priests for Life at an organized protest of the HHS contraception mandate that violates the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of religion. Priests for Life yesterday filed a lawsuit against the Obama Administration that seeks to permanently block the implementation of the mandate because it imposes clear violations of conscience upon any American citizens who morally object to abortion and contraception.

Father Wilde and the other protesters, including the Rev. Pat Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition, were cited for “Failure to obey a lawful order” as they knelt in prayer in front of the White House. They each paid a $100 fine and were released from custody.

“Occupy Wall Street protesters have been occupying federal property for months, but when we kneel in prayer, the police are called in and we are arrested,” Father Wilde said. “We knew that was the risk when we gathered today, and we will do it again regardless of the risk. What people of faith – of every faith – need to do now is stand with us.”

Father Frank said the New York-based organization remains committed to battling the HHS mandate because it forces Americans to become morally entangled in practices they find objectionable.

“As an organization of Catholic clergy, as a corporation that employs 60 people of various religious backgrounds, and as a ministry whose very purpose is to protect and promote the pro-life teaching about the specific practices at issue in the HHS mandate, we are particularly well-positioned to fight against this intrusion of conscience,” Father Pavone said.

To see the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, on Wednesday, click here: priestsforlife.org/hhsmandate/priests-for-life-v-sebelius.pdf

Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.