FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: August 17, 2015
Contact: Leslie Palma
NEW YORK — The Supreme Court will meet on September 28 to consider whether or not it will hear Priests for Life’s challenge to the HHS mandate.
In the lead case for the Churches and religious non-profits objecting to the HHS mandate, “Priests for Life, et al. v. Department of Health and Human Services,” the Court consolidated the Priests for Life petition with that of the Archdiocese of Washington. Petitioners in the Priests for Life case include not only the organization, but also, in their personal capacities, Dr. Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King Jr. and full-time Director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life, as well as Janet Morana, co-founder of Silent No More, and Fr. Frank Pavone.
The Obama administration’s response to the joint petitions contends that the new “accommodation” for faith-based ministries does not violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Robert Muise, co-founder and senior co-counsel of the American Freedom Law Center, said that, “In arguing, contrary to Priests for Life’s contentions, that it would be consistent with Catholic Church teaching for Priests for Life to comply with the challenged regulations, the government is taking on the impermissible role of deciding what does or does not violate Church teaching and then asking the Court to exceed both its judicial function and its judicial competence by confirming the government’s position. If the Court accepts this argument, it will destroy religious freedom as we know it.”
Priests for Life will submit its reply to the government’s objections on August 26.
Father Pavone said the government’s arguments are unpersuasive and dangerous:
“They are saying, in effect, that they know better than we do what violates our faith. It’s ridiculous, and it undermines all that American was founded on. It is the believer who believes, and the government is supposed to respect his right to believe, not control it.”
A Friend of the Court Brief supporting the petition of Priests for Life in this case has been filed, with the assistance of Americans United for Life, by the following groups: Association of American Physicians & Surgeons; American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists; Christian Medical Association; National Catholic Bioethics Center; Alabama Physicians for Life; National Association of Pro-life Nurses, and the National Association of Catholic Nurses.
Attorneys at the American Freedom Law Center have indicated that because Priests for Life, in addition to being a religious non-profit entity, is particularly well-suited to challenge the HHS mandate, because the very mission of the organization is to protect human life from precisely the activities that the mandate wants to expand.
To read the government’s response to Priests for Life’s petition, go to http://www.priestsforlife.org/hhsmandate/15-08-supreme-court.pdf To see all the documentation and commentary on this case, visit www.IStandWithPFL.com.
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.