NEW YORK – Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, issued the following statement today regarding the HHS mandate and President Trump’s commitment to religious freedom:
“As one of the petitioners to the U.S. Supreme Court against the HHS contraceptive/abortifacient mandate, I want to make clear that we continue to be fully confident that our rights of religious freedom will be fully vindicated, and that groups like Priests for Life will not be forced to choose between following our faith and following the law when it comes to what kind of health insurance we offer our employees.
“President Trump is fully committed to religious freedom, and I have full confidence that his administration, as well as the new Congress, will defend that freedom, both in word and in law.
“After the Supreme Court heard our case in March 2016, a case that involved seven consolidated cases and 37 petitioners, the Court issued an order in May sending the cases back to the four Courts of Appeals from which they had come, and asking the petitioners to engage in discussions with the government to achieve a resolution which appeared to be possible.
“People need to understand that this process continues, and now, of course, we are in dialogue with an Administration that is a friend rather than a foe of religious freedom. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
“But that doesn't mean that this process happens overnight. Some media outlets expressed concern recently that the government asked one of the courts to delay action on the mandate. But this has been the normal course of events, as the discussions ordered by the Supreme Court continue, that each side asks the courts for more time to continue those discussions. We, too, have asked for extensions in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, as has the government, as those discussions progress.
“This in no way, shape or form casts any doubt on the Administration's view of religious freedom, much less that of the President. Again, Priests for Life, as one of the first groups to challenge this mandate back in 2012, is fully confident that this matter will be resolved properly. We are pleased with the progress and the significant pro-life victories President Trump has achieved in his first 100 days in office, and look forward to far more victories over the next eight years.”
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.