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By Priests for Life

8/19/2013 (7 months ago)

Priests for Life (www.priestsforlife.org/)

On Tuesday, Aug. 20, at 9 p.m. EDT, Priests for Life will welcome Rep. Michele Bachmann for a Religious Freedom webcast to discuss the case and talk about how people can help to safeguard our First Amendment right to freedom of religion and the even more fundamental right to life itself.

"As one of the first organizations to launch a lawsuit against this unjust mandate, Priests for Life is more than ready to bring this battle to the next level with today's new filing," Father Pavone said. "I am more than confident of victory, not only because of the expertise of the American Freedom Law Center, but because we are fighting for what America itself stands for: freedom, and above all, life."

Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life

Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life

Article Highlights

By Priests for Life

Priests for Life (www.priestsforlife.org/)

8/19/2013 (7 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Affordable Care Act, Kathleen Sebelius, Obamacare, priests for Life, Fr Frank Pavone, Right to Life, Religious Freedom, HHS mandate,


WASHINGTON, DC (Priests for Life) - (Note from Deacon Keith Fournier, Editor in Chief of Catholic Online: I have known Fr Frank Pavone for many years and am honored to call him my friend. History will record him as one of the great heroes in the fundamental human rights struggle of our age, the fight to restore the recognition of the fundmantal human right to life of our youngests neighbors, children in the womb.

Central to that defense is the defense of another fundamental human right, the Right to Religious Freedom. The two are integrally connected and that is made especially clear in the threat to both which is caused by the implementation of the Affordable care Act (Obamacare) through the unconstitutional HHS mandate. I invite all of our readers to join Fr Frank in an important webcast on Tuesday, August 20, 2013 at 9 p.m. (EST) which will consider these vital matters. Sign up here. )

Priests for Life is back in court to fight for religious freedom.

On behalf of the national pro-life ministry, the American Freedom Law Center filed a lawsuit on Monday, August 19, 2013 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia challenging the Obamacare mandate that Priests for Life's insurance plan must provide contraception, abortifacients and sterilization services to its employees.

On Tuesday, Aug. 20, at 9 p.m. EDT, Priests for Life will welcome Rep. Michele Bachmann for a Religious Freedom webcast to discuss the case and talk about how people can help to safeguard our First Amendment right to freedom of religion and the even more fundamental right to life itself.

Priests for Life was the fourth organization to file a lawsuit against the mandate in February 2012. The court protected Priests for Life from the effects of the mandate, but declined to rule on its merits because the administration promised that accommodations for faith-based employers would address the organization's concerns. Those accommodations, released in June, still do not provide Priests for Life the protection it needs from being forced to cover the objectionable drugs and services as part of their health plans.

Therefore, the need now arises to file the lawsuit again, when the court can no longer tell us that new changes are coming or that harm to the organization is not imminent.

"As we predicted from the outset, the accommodation turned out to be no accommodation at all," said Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life.

The lawsuit alleges that the regulations violate the Constitution and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by forcing religious organizations to violate their religious beliefs.

The new lawsuit names as plaintiffs, along with the Priests for Life organization itself, the following individuals: Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director; Janet Morana, Executive Director, and  Alveda King, Director of African-American Outreach.

"Our concerns are not resolved just because the insurance carrier pays for the services that violate our Catholic faith," Father Pavone explained. "The fact is that Priests for Life still becomes the gateway through which people can have insurance coverage for some of the very things that our international ministry was formed to combat."

Mrs. Morana noted that, beyond Priests for Life's religious objections, there are health concerns as well, since the birth control pill has been labeled a Class 1 carcinogen by the World Health Organization.

"We care about our employees at Priests for Life," she said. "We would never provide something for them that was both morally wrong and physically hazardous."

Dr. King, the niece of Martin Luther King Jr., said the Obama administration's insistence on free contraception is an affront to civil rights.

"There are racist and eugenic roots to this thinking," Dr. King said. "Efforts to control the population always target minority and lower-income groups. We will not sit still and allow this to happen."

Robert Muise, co-founder and senior counsel of the American Freedom Law Center, said, "Despite his rhetoric about protecting the right of conscience, President Obama continues his war against religious liberty in order to promote his progressive, liberal agenda. Indeed, progressive liberals view pregnancy as a disease to be 'prevented' by contraception and 'cured' by abortion. By forcing religious organizations to participate in this culture of death agenda, the Obama administration is violating a core freedom enshrined in the Bill of Rights."

Catholic groups are not alone in objecting to the contraception/abortifactient mandate. David Yerushalmi, also a co-founder and senior counsel of the American Freedom Law Center, said: "As an orthodox Jew who objects to this mandate on religious and constitutional grounds, I can say with confidence that observant Jews are as opposed to Obama's assault on religious liberty as are those in the Christian communities across the country. In this battle, we all stand as one."

The Tuesday, Aug. 20 webcast, which can be accessed online or by phone, will feature special guest Rep. Michele Bachmann as well as Father Pavone, Janet Morana, and Dr. King. Other nationally-known guests have been invited. 
 
"As one of the first organizations to launch a lawsuit against this unjust mandate, Priests for Life is more than ready to bring this battle to the next level with today's new filing," Father Pavone said. "I am more than confident of victory, not only because of the expertise of the American Freedom Law Center, but because we are fighting for what America itself stands for: freedom, and above all, life."

-----

The legal complaint, Priests for Life vs. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services can be found at http://www.priestsforlife.org/pdf/complaint-priests-for-life-v-dhhs.pdf



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