A King in the High Court: History Repeats Itself

A King in the High Court: History Repeats Itself


Date: February 16, 2016

Contact: Leslie Palma

Dr. Alveda King plaintiff in Priests for Life Challenge to HHS Mandate

NEW YORK — Forty-nine years after Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a petitioner in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court, his niece, Dr. Alveda King, will appear as a plaintiff in the same court.

In 1967, Rev. King sought to overturn his 1963 conviction for violating a Birmingham, AL, ordinance by leading a public demonstration without a permit.

This year, Dr. Alveda King is a plaintiff in Priests for Life vs. HHS, a case that seeks to block the Obama administration from enforcing the HHS Mandate. The mandate would force Priests for Life to cooperate with the government in expanding insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs and other objectionable “services.”

Both cases are about civil rights.

The Supreme Court ruled against Rev. King and upheld his conviction, but two years later the Birmingham ordinance was found to be unconstitutional. Alveda King, director of Civil Rights for the Unborn, the African-American Outreach of Priests for Life, is hoping justice will be swifter this time around.

“The people of the United States have a right to understand this,” she said. “The civil rights of every human being will be impacted by this decision. People forget that life is a civil right.”

Priests for Life objects to the mandate on religious liberty grounds, and finds it particularly offensive that a ministry formed specifically to fight abortion is being coerced to provide abortion-inducing drugs and devices to its employees.
“Life is a civil right,” Dr. King said. “In an abortion, you violate the rights of the baby.”

Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, noted that this month’s observance of Black History Month is a perfect time to highlight the King family in the Supreme Court.

“It’s historic that a member of the King family is once again defending civil rights in the U.S. Supreme Court,” Father Pavone said.

Dr. King said the nation has come a long way in recognizing the civil rights of African-Americans but has a long way still to go in recognizing that those rights begin in the womb.

“We are reminding Christians everywhere, of all races, ethnicities and creeds, that we must stand together and unite to protect the civil rights of all,” she said. “That includes the babies in the womb.”

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.


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