Skip to comments.Pro-Life Catholic Group [Priests for Life] Wins HHS Mandate Exemption in Court
Posted on 12/26/2012 4:24:33 AM PST by rhema
In another victory for pro-life advocates challenging the pro-abortion HHS mandate in Obamacare, a pro-life Catholic group has won a legal battle in court to get an exemption from having to comply with the mandate.
The new mandate compels religious employers to pay for and refer employees for birth control, abortion-causing drugs and contraception in violation of employers religious beliefs.
On Thursday, pro-life attorneys Robert Muise and David Yerushalmi presented oral argument in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn) in support of Priests for Lifes request that the court immediately halt the enforcement of the Obama administrations mandate. The next day, the federal government entered into a stipulation that it would not enforce the HHS contraception mandate against Priests for Life pending a revision in the rules that would protect religious liberty.
The agreement came as a result of the court strongly urging the government to enter into the stipulation. If an agreement was not reached by December 21, the court indicated it would schedule an emergency hearing December 26, and attorneys for the pro-life group said it would have ordered the exemption.
Pursuant to the terms of the binding stipulation, the government agreed that it will not take any enforcement action against [Priests for Life], its group health plans, or the group health insurance coverage provided in connection with such plans, for not covering in the health plans any contraceptive services required to be covered by the HHS mandate.
In August, Priests for Life indicated it would openly defy the mandate if it did not receive legal protection in court. At the time, Father Frank Pavone told LifeNews his pro-life group doesnt qualify for the narrowly-drawn exemptions in the mandate, so his organization will not comply with it and will run the risk of fines and other possible punishment.
The unjust and unconstitutional HHS mandate, against which Priests for Life and 57 other plaintiffs have sued the federal government, takes effect today. We at Priests for Life do not qualify for the year that the government has offered certain groups to adapt to the mandate. And we are not religious enough for this Administration, he explained. But regardless of all that, we do not adapt to injustice; we oppose it.
Therefore today, on behalf of our organization and on behalf of myself personally, I announce our conscientious objection to this mandate, he said. Priests for Life has the highest respect for civil government and advocates the observance of all just laws. But this policy is unjust, and today I reaffirm our intention to disobey it.
So does this highlight the possibility of being able to avoid the aborto parts of 0’deathcare?
A company can state in public that it is religious in nature and such religion is opposed to abortion? Hence no taxpayer-funded baby killing in said company?
And... what about a religion that has the characteristic that such religion is opposed to say, anything in the bill?
Another line of hell to throw at ‘em.
I almost wish the gubmit had dug in their heels. Then they could have received greater injury towards the "health mandate" in the long run.
The very fact that a religious organization has to ask for permission from the government to follow its religious principles is just beyond belief.
What has become of this country?
The Catholic church should put its foot down on Kathleen Sebelius. Issue her an ultimatum that unless she resigns as secretary of HHS, and renounces this mandate, she will be excommunicated.
And not the “self-excommunication” dodge they have used in the past, but via the full ex-communication, and an official statement to this effect be provided to the dioceses of the United States, to be read aloud if they so choose.
Her excuse, if she has even bothered to give one, that she is “only following orders”, is as unacceptable today as it was in the past.
America today is not yet tyranny, but unless Americans stand up against tyranny, it may be in our future. And to stand up means to not tolerate the actions of tyrants, like Kathleen Sebelius.
Last I heard about Sebelius was this, from 2009, don’t know if anything has changed:
I don’t think she cares, never has I take it. It would be better if she was more publicly challenged, I agree. But I doubt many even know who she is, much less that she is Catholic.
Pelosi is the one that met with the bishop, then promptly ignored him while still calling herself Catholic, and the bishop then let her get away with it, agreeing to disagree. The lack of public discipline on public Catholics who support abortion publically is a scandal that dwarfs the homosexualist priest scandal, in my opinion. Somewhere along the line bishops decided they could teach without using discipline, something any sane first grade teacher knows is impossible.
She’s already been told not to present herself for communion. But thinking that an excommunication, or anything like it, would stop Sebelius is a lot like thinking that gun control laws will stop crime. If Sebelius was inclined to obey the Church, she wouldn’t be where she is.
The purpose in doing this would not be as a message to Sibelius, but to the rest of the laity. And it would be a message that conveys many things to them.
First, that the “corridors of power” are no longer sanctuary for those who embrace evil. That the church cares more for its articles of faith than political power.
Second, that excommunication *means* something, that it is not just a means of expressing the displeasure of the church.
Third would be that the excommunication was enforced. If other Catholics were informed that Sibelius was, and will remain, “anathema”. And this should be thought of in the context of St. Paul, for whom it meant relinquishing a person to the ownership of the devil.
This being done, there is no more an excuse for any Catholic to have anything to do with her, lest they imperil their own soul. And those that do must be seen as joining her in her banishment from heaven.