NEW YORK – Alveda King, director of Civil Rights for the Unborn for Priests for Life, was at the White House today as President Trump signed an executive order on religious liberty that directly impacts the work of the pro-life ministry she serves full-time.
The executive order affirms the commitment of this Administration -- and indeed of America -- to the foundational principle of religious freedom, which means that citizens are free to act in accordance with their religious beliefs, not just in Church, but in every arena of life.
Priests for Life has been fighting for religious freedom at the Supreme Court as this ministry and dozens of others insist that they will not follow a mandate, left over from the Obama Administration, that would force them to violate their faith by providing insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs.
Priests for Life has also been fighting against vague and unconstitutional restrictions on what pastors can preach from the pulpit, particularly when it comes to politics, elections, and voting.
The President's Executive Order addresses both of these things and points our nation more clearly in the direction of religious freedom, and in the direction that Priests for Life and the Church have been urging for a long time.
“This is truly a great day for religious freedom, for the pro-life movement, and for Priests for Life,” said Father Frank Pavone, National Director. “We will be busy in the coming months unpacking the meaning of this Executive Order for all of the clergy across the nation. We want to move them away from the silly fear that a sermon on Sunday saying to vote pro-life means a visit on Monday from the IRS. We have been insisting for years that this would not happen, and thanks to President Trump's action today it is even farther from happening.”
Fr. Pavone has outlined in detail the problems with the Johnson Amendment, and with the Church's response to it, in his 2015 book Abolishing Abortion.
Ms. King said it was an honor to be with the president when he signed the order, especially since it so directly affects Priests for Life.
“President Trump has kept another promise to pro-lifers and people of faith with this executive order,” she said. “I thank God for him."
Read the text of the Executive Order here.
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.