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.

GOP teams up with Israeli prime minister to forcefully override Obama's Iran policy Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

House Speaker John Boehner is seeking to enlist Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to support a congressional plan to override President Obama's Iran policy on March 3. Boehner hopes to bring Netanyahu to a joint session of the House and Senate. Boehner ... continue reading


The Prophetic Connection Between the March for Life and the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

It is no accident that the March for Life always falls within the National Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. It is prophetic.We have been thrown together in a common defense of life in a western culture which has lost its moral compass. Our Marching together ... continue reading


Early Christian Deacon and Martyr Vincent Calls Us to Heroic Christian Witness in a Hostile Culture Watch

Image of Vincent was born in the Third Century in Huesca, Spain and born again to eternal life only four days into the fourth century. He lived in Saragossa where he served the holy Bishop Valerius as a Deacon.He was one of the scores of Christians who suffered brutal persecution under the evil Roman emperor named Diocletian. Diocletian is associated with the last of the ten persecutions of the nascent undivided Christian Church of the first millennium of our history.  Like many early deacons of the undivided Church such as Stephen, Lawrence and Ephrem, the hagiography which has been passed down through the Church records his holiness of life and heroic virtue. He lived the way he died, as a sign of the power of the Gospel and the truth of the presence of the Risen Jesus Christ in our midst.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The Deacon Vincent was a man like us who encountered the same Risen Lord Jesus whom we have encountered. He struggled with the choices which always accompany living the Christian life in the midst of a culture which has squeezed God and His truth out of the ... continue reading


Caught in the act: Telephone scammers get comeuppance from plucky woman Watch

Image of Becoming pro-active, Rachel Fitzsimmons decided to take action in an effort to spread awareness so that others do not fall for the swindle.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

Telephone solicitors threatening phony legal action are the bane of many people's existence. They typically prey upon "old-timers" who still have landlines in their homes and are home in the evenings. Rachel Fitzsimmons, of Denver, Colorado received such a call ... continue reading


Is Israel beholden to Obama? Should the president be able to hold the American people hostage via threat of veto? Republicans and Israeli prime minister say no! Watch

Image of Benjamin Netanyahu is set to speak before a joint session of Congress on March 3 about keeping nuclear capabilities out of the hands of Iran.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

On March 3, Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu will speak before the a joint session of the U.S. Congress, a move which is as much a show of support for Israel from the Republican dominated legislature as it is a rebuff of President Obama. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


Upset over private donations, Liberal protestors barged in on the Supreme Court Watch

Image of Members of 99rise during a protest.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As the Supreme Court opened on January 21, a rare disturbance broke out which caused seven protesters to be removed. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Chief Justice John Roberts was about to announce the day's opinions when a protester stood up and began shouted: "We ... continue reading


The First Right is the Right to Life. It is Time to End Legal Abortion on Demand Watch

Image of The great human rights movement of our age is the struggle to restore to the Civil and positive law the legal recognition of the fundamental Human Right to Life. It is already a fundamental human right, and one which can never be taken away. This Right to Life is the foundation of all other rights. It is the first solidarity issue. The child in the womb is our innocent neighbor. It is wrong to kill any innocent neighbor. We know this and we have perpetuated the lie for too long.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

No one with integrity any longer argues that the little girl or little boy killed through procured abortion is not a human being. When the abortion occurs through miscarriage we properly enter into the mourning of the mother over the loss of the one we call - her ... continue reading


Archbishop Josť H. Gomez: OneLife LA and 9 Days for Life Watch

Image of Archbishop Gomez - In granting a legal right for some people to take the lives of others, the Supreme Court in effect decided that human rights are granted by government - not by God. That gives the government the final say - not only in defining what is right and wrong, but also in deciding who gets to live and who does not. There are many injustices in our society, but the most fundamental is the one our society rarely acknowledges - the routine taking of innocent human life every day through abortion.

By Archbishop Josť H. Gomez

Roe v. Wade continues to shape American consciousness and public life. At the political level, from debates in state legislatures to federal questions about health insurance, our country is clearly still divided over whether to allow abortion and what limits ... continue reading


The Dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Must Include Our Youngest Neighbors in the Womb Watch

Image of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. - Remember his words,

By Deacon Keith Fournier

On this day when we remember the dream and honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. we must continue his work and not succumb to the counterfeit agendas which seek to leech upon his noble memory. There is no doubt that any positive or civil law which ... continue reading


Roe v Wade, Doe v Bolton: The Deception Continues

Image of

By Catherine Contreras

The abortion lobby, their media lapdogs, and pro abortion politicians have been able to continue the deception that there is a "right" to take innocent human life in the womb because of a scam perpetrated by the United States Supreme Court in 1973.  On ... 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, Hebrews 9:15, 24-28
15 This makes him the mediator of a new covenant, so ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 98:1, 2-3, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Psalm] Sing a new song to Yahweh, for he has ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 3:22-30
22 The scribes who had come down from Jerusalem were ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 26th, 2015 Image

St. Timothy
January 26: Born at Lystra, Lycaenia, Timothy was the son of a Greek father ... 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