Priests for Life Tells Supreme Court: Don’t Let Obama Admin Force Us to Obey HHS Mandate

National   Steven Ertelt   Mar 11, 2014   |   3:29PM    Washington, DC

The pro-life group Priests for Life was one of the earliest organizations to file a lawsuit against the Obama administration over its HHS mandate. The mandate compels religious groups to pay for birth control drugs and drugs like ella that can cause very early abortions.

Priests for Life national director Father Frank Pavone released the following statement to LifeNews today indicating his group is taking its case against the mandate to the Supreme Court.

pichealth56“Priests for Life has taken the next step in our appeal to the US Supreme Court regarding the HHS mandate. Our response to the government’s objection to our appeal has been sent to the Court, and the Justices will decide, likely in a matter of days, whether to hear our case.

“Our lawsuit is still on appeal in the Circuit Court in Washington DC, but in matters of particular public urgency, the law permits an appeal to the Supreme Court, even before the lower courts have finished hearing the case.

“Our reply brief was submitted through the American Freedom Law Center, and we are grateful to our attorneys, Robert Muise and David Yerushalmi, for their expertise and their continued commitment to this cause.

“As our reply brief states,

‘To ignore the gravity of the moral dilemma caused by the mandate, which is affecting countless lives (and souls), the uncertainty surrounding its enforcement, and the costs and burdens caused by this uncertainty is to ignore reality.’

“The Supreme Court has already agreed to hear arguments regarding the HHS mandate as applied to businesses, like Hobby Lobby. Inevitably, the court will also have to resolve the problem the mandate presents to religious groups, whose rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act are even less disputed. Therefore, we are asking them to resolve that issue now.

“As our brief also points out,

‘Moreover, what makes review of this case particularly compelling is the fact that this challenge goes to the very core of Priests for Life’s reason for existing as an organization. Consequently, Petitioners are well situated—and perhaps best suited—to challenge the mandate and its application to non-exempt, nonprofit religious organizations.’

“We continue to join in prayer and solidarity with the many other plaintiffs who have lawsuits against the mandate, and with all our supporters, on whose help we continue to rely. We will celebrate the victory together!”