Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Priests for Life

9/23/2013 (1 year ago)

Priests for Life (www.priestsforlife.org/)

The American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) has asked a federal court to halt enforcement of the Obamacare contraceptive services mandate against Priests for Life

Father Pavone expressed Priests for Life's and his commitment to this fight for religious freedom. "We have been battling the HHS Mandate in court since February of 2012, and as we take this next step, we as an organization - and the plaintiffs in their individual capacities - renew our determination not to accommodate to this injustice.  And we are confident that the court will uphold our position."

DC Federal District Court

DC Federal District Court

Highlights

By Priests for Life

Priests for Life (www.priestsforlife.org/)

9/23/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Priests for Life, contraception mandate, HHS Mandate, Obamacare, Affordable Care Act, Pro-Life, Right to Life, Fr Frank Pavone


WASHINGTON, D.C. - The American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) has asked a federal court to halt enforcement of the Obamacare contraceptive services mandate against Priests for Life.

On Sept. 19, AFLC filed a motion for a preliminary injunction in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, asking the court to halt the enforcement of the recently announced regulations. The motion and accompanying memorandum of law are part of AFLC's federal lawsuit filed last month on behalf of Priests for Life, an international, Catholic organization; Father Frank Pavone, the National Director of Priests for Life; Alveda King, the niece of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. and a pastoral associate and director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life; and Janet Morana, the executive director of Priests for Life. 

The lawsuit challenges the new regulations announced by the Obama administration this past June that allegedly "accommodate" religious objections to the contraceptive services mandate for "eligible organizations."  However, the regulations still require certain non-exempt religious employers, including Priests for Life, to provide insurance plans that promote and facilitate the use of contraceptive services. 

Priests for Life's sincerely held religious beliefs prohibit it from providing any support for the use of contraceptive services-the very services mandated by the government as a matter of federal law.  The lawsuit and recently filed motion allege that the contraceptive services mandate places a substantial burden on Priests for Life's sincerely held religious beliefs and the government does not have a compelling reason for doing so in violation of the United States Constitution and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Father Pavone expressed Priests for Life's and his commitment to this fight for religious freedom. "We have been battling the HHS Mandate in court since February of 2012, and as we take this next step, we as an organization - and the plaintiffs in their individual capacities - renew our determination not to accommodate to this injustice.  And we are confident that the court will uphold our position."

According to the motion filed by AFLC, the contraceptive services mandate will apply in full force to Priests for Life's health care plan on January 1, 2014, thereby necessitating the request for an immediate injunction.  Absent an injunction, Priests for Life will be presented with a Hobson's choice: either drop its health care plan altogether and face the consequences for doing so or refuse to cooperate with the government mandate and be subject to crippling fines of $100 per employee per day.

Robert Muise, co-founder and senior counsel of AFLC, commented: "As a religious organization whose primary mission is to promote the culture of life, Priests for Life has and will continue to suffer irreparable harm from the mandate.  The so-called 'accommodation' for certain non-exempt religious employers announced by the Obama administration is no such thing.  Under these revised regulations, because Priests for Life provides its employees with a health care plan, the mandate forces Priests for Life to provide the means and mechanism by which contraceptive services are provided directly to its plan participants and their beneficiaries, which is unacceptable to Priests for Life because it violates its sincerely held religious beliefs."

Muise continued, "The use of contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients is prohibited by Priests for Life's religious convictions.  And this is true whether the immoral services are paid for directly, indirectly, or even not at all by Priests for Life.  Contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients are immoral regardless of their cost."

Throughout the process of amending the regulations, the Obama administration has refused to provide a broad exemption from the contraception mandate for religious employers such as Priests for Life, claiming that such an exemption "would lead to more employees having to pay out of pocket for contraceptive services, thus making it less likely that they would use contraceptives, which would undermine the benefits [of requiring the coverage]." 

According to the government, "Employers that do not primarily employ employees who share the religious tenets of the organization are more likely to employ individuals who have no religious objection to the use of contraceptive services and therefore are more likely to use contraceptives.  Including these employers within the scope of the exemption would subject their employees to the religious views of the employer, limiting access to contraceptives, thereby inhibiting the use of contraceptive services and the benefits of preventive care." 

Consequently, as the Obama administration has made clear, the ultimate goal of the contraception mandate is to increase the "use of contraceptive services" by compelling access to these services-a goal that is contrary to the very purpose and mission of Priests for Life. 

David Yerushalmi, co-founder and senior counsel of AFLC, commented: "There is no doubt that the contraceptive services mandate threatens the very existence of Priests for Life as an effective, pro-life organization.  The First Amendment exists to prevent exactly this type of tyrannical overreach by the federal government."
 
The lawsuit was filed against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and its Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius; the U.S. Department of the Treasury and its Secretary, Jacob Lew; and the U.S. Department of Labor and its Secretary, Thomas Perez.  Each department has a role in enforcing the challenged mandate.
   
To see the motion for a preliminary injunction and supporting statements from the plaintiffs, go here.

The American Freedom Law Center is a national Judeo-Christian law firm that fights for faith and freedom.  It accomplishes its mission through litigation, public policy initiatives, and related activities.  It does not charge for its services.  The Law Center is supported by contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations, and is recognized by the IRS as a section 501(c)(3) organization.  The web site can be found here

-----
Priests for Life is the nation's largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit Priests for Life here.



Comments


More U.S.

The top 5 things you need to know about the United States' quickly changing religious landscape Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

For many years, Protestants made up the majority of the United States' population. A recent report from America Values Atlas tells us that, as the United States demographically shifts, this is no longer the case. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The United States as ... continue reading


EMPTY! Is there any gold in Fort Knox? Government's denial of audit raises serious concerns Watch

Image of While the U.S. government claims that about 3% of all minted gold sits in Fort Knox, recent and troubling rumors say that this is not true.

By Al Wooltin (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

About 3 percent of the gold ever refined in the entire history of mankind sits in the vaults of the United States Bullion Depository in Fort Knox, equaling about 5,000 metric tons of gold. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - At least this is what the government of ... continue reading


Billy the Kid's New Mexico hideout now up for sale Watch

Image of According to legend, Billy the Kid is said to have killed 21 men, but it is generally believed that he killed eight.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's a beautiful home in New Mexico, spacious, with breathtaking mountain views. It's hard to believe that it at one time sheltered Billy the Kid, also known as William Bonney, one of the American Wild West's most notorious outlaws. It is now on the market for ... continue reading


Obama spends an alarming $3 billion on Obamacare WITHOUT Congressional approval Watch

Image of President Obama's administration is being accused of illegally spending money on Obamacare without Congressional approval.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The U.S. Treasury Department may be moving forward with Obamacare regardless of Congressional concerns and a lack of funding, approving a $3 billion payment to health insurers despite the fact that Congress has not authorized any payments in annual ... continue reading


Obama Administration as Global Advocate for Radical LGBTI Agenda

Image of Randy Berry

By Keith A Fournier

Robert Reilly is right. The Obama administration is doing profound damage to the very understanding of human rights. We have fundamental human rights precisely because we are human persons. No-one should support the denial of truly fundamental human rights for ... continue reading


Climate change - WHERE IT HURTS: Scientists say warming will hit nation's agricultural heartland Watch

Image of The climate change panel's verdict came as a bit of a surprise: Greenhouse-gas emissions played a substantial role in Europe's misery, but not so much in California.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There are very few positive things to result from climate change. Researchers now say that warmer temperatures will hit America where it counts: the nation's agricultural heartland. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Researchers presented their latest findings ... continue reading


WITCHES ARE BACK: Witchcraft reappears in today's popular mainstream culture in unexpected ways Watch

Image of Witches are seen in both religion and as a feminist symbol.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The idea of the witch is making its rounds through history again. Females, both young and old, are embracing the power that comes with the feminist witch in today's society. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In a recent twitter post, popular female rapper, Azealia ... continue reading


Alaska lights up as it become the third U.S. state to legalize marijuana Watch

Image of Twenty-three states still prohibit cannabis outright. The other U.S. states have either legalized medical marijuana or decriminalized marijuana possession.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The state of Alaska is lighting up in celebration... following Colorado's lead, Alaska has become the third U.S. state to legalize recreational marijuana use. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Voters passed the Alaska Marijuana Legalization ballot measure last ... continue reading


The Air Force pulls a B-52 from the 'Boneyard,' and you won't believe what they did with it next Watch

Image of A B-52, one of the largest and most effective bombers in the world.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

For the first time in aircraft's history, the U.S. Air Force has brought a B-52 bomber back to life from the Boneyard of the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base near Tucson, Arizona. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Nicknamed "Ghost Rider," this 53-year-old bomber had ... continue reading


Fr. Peter M. J. Stravinskas on the Chair of St. Peter and the Role of the Pope

Image of

By Fr. Peter M. J. Stravinskas, Ph.D., S.T.D.

The doctrine of infallibility, then, is derived from the principle of apostolic succession and from the fact that Jesus Christ promised His presence to His apostles when He sent them forth to teach all the nations (cf. Mt 28:20).  The Pope and the bishops in ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 1:10, 16-20
10 Hear what Yahweh says, you rulers of Sodom; listen ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 50:8-9, 16-17, 21, 23
8 'It is not with your sacrifices that I find fault, ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 23:1-12
1 Then addressing the crowds and his disciples Jesus ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 3rd, 2015 Image

St. Katharine Drexel
March 3: Saint Katharine Drexel, Religious (Feast Day-March 3) Born in ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter