‘Priests for Life’ Sues to Block Birth Control Coverage Compromise


On Monday, the American Freedom Law Center filed a lawsuit by a Catholic nonprofit challenging the recently announced final compromise for religiously affiliated nonprofits such as hospitals and universities that object to the birth control benefit in the Affordable Care Act.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of Priests for Life, an international Catholic organization; its national director, Father Frank Pavone; pastoral associate and director of African-American outreach, Alveda King, niece of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.; and the group’s executive director, Janet Morana. The lawsuit alleges that the new regulations violate the Constitution and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by forcing faith-based organizations to violate their sincerely held beliefs and offer insurance coverage for contraception and other family planning health services to employees. The lawsuit renews claims previously filed on behalf of Priests for Life, which had been dismissed in April because the Obama administration’s proposed compromise was not yet final.

According to the complaint, Priests for Life is “morally prohibited based on its sincerely held religious convictions from cooperating with evil.” As stated in the complaint:

Priests for Life objects to being forced by the government to purchase a health care plan that provides its employees with access to contraceptives, sterilization, and abortifacients, all of which are prohibited by its religious convictions. This is true whether the immoral services are paid for directly, indirectly, or even not at all by Priests for Life. Contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients are immoral regardless of their cost. And Priests for Life objects to the government forcing it into a moral dilemma with regard to its relationship with its employees and its very survival as an effective, pro-life organization.

American Freedom Law Center Co-Founder Robert Muise, who represents the plaintiffs, said in a statement, “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 or ‘cured’ by abortion. However, 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.”

Since the final rule was issued by the Obama administration in late June, eight nonprofits have said that they are not satisfied with the “accommodation” and intend to proceed with their lawsuits or have refiled lawsuits that had been dismissed, including Priests for Life’s latest filing. Of those eight nonprofits who publicly objected and sued, two cases have been dismissed by the district courts as moot, holding that the new rule places no burden on religious exercise rights.

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  • HeilMary1

    “Sincerely held” criminal cult misogyny is no constitutional fig leaf excuse to commit Munchausen by Proxy medical mayhem and negligence against half of the American population. Smug “celibate” gynophobes, who swear allegiance to a foreign-based child-raping, Nazi-smuggling, money-laundering “religious” crime syndicate, do not have any special federal rights to conscript all female citizens as their enslaved surrogate brood mares!

  • fiona64

    So, let me get this right: a group of anti-choice celibate men think that they have the right to block a medical parity law? Where’s their “moral outrage” over Cialis?

    What a laugh.

    • HeilMary1

      But “celibate” men need Cialis when they go on “missionary work” in sex tourist havens like the Philippines!

  • http://alittleitchy.blogspot.com/ brista

    Hmmm, since celibate men have a 0% of getting pregnant, I think they should have exactly 0% legal sway in this discussion. In other words, sit down, shut up, keep your rosaries out of my ovaries!!

  • colleen2

    I wonder if Kirsten Day and Lila Rose are on birth control pills.

    • Valde

      I bet Anne Coulter is.

      • colleen2

        I don’t know if Ann Coulter is Catholic but Kirsten Day and Lila Rose sure are. Indeed, they make a good living trying to force other women to comply with Catholic dogma, especially the parts of that dogma overwhelmingly rejected by Catholic women. That’s how they make the big bucks.

        Lila Rose is such a good Catholic that she has never once publicly criticized her Hierarchy for their unfortunate habit of allowing Priests to rape small children and then protecting and enabling the rapists. You would think she would have noticed.After all, she made a career for herself by trying to blame Planned Parenthood for the fact that men rape children on a regular basis in this country.

        What I want to know is why these right wing ‘feminist’ icons aren’t producing children. After all, they make a great deal of money trying to force other women (and little girls) to do just that.

        • liberaldem

          Lila Rose, et al aren’t having children because they’re hypocrites.

          • HeilMary1

            Read somewhere that Liar Rose is livid that she doesn’t quite have the looks to have a Hollywood career, so her “indy films” are an angry substitute. Suspect she’s had abortions because her favorite married GOP sugar daddies and priests won’t make her a more dishonest woman by marrying her.

      • HeilMary1

        I vaguely recall reading that she dated the son of the Penthouse publisher before she was infamous.

      • dagobarbz

        Why would she need to be? I mean, look at her! She’s crazy as a sack of weasels! That’s not very sexy. Crazy scares the hell outta me.

  • Valde

    I have brought up blood transfusions and they trot out this one: “they can’t deny blood transfusions because that’s to save a life, contraception is only used if youre a s1ut”

    • dagobarbz

      I like how they completely ignore the other medical applications birth control pills are used for. Health issues that have nothing to do with reproduction at all, hormone imbalance and the like. Clearly these guys aren’t doctors. I’m not even sure they’re guys, what with the dresses and cunning slippers and funny hats.

      So if you’re not a doctor, and I haven’t made an appointment with you, butt the hell out of my health choices.

  • dagobarbz

    To avoid this issue, they should hire only True Believers who will march in lockstep to their belief system. It’s when religious organizations hire outside of their belief system that things get dicey. You want someone to perform a job for you. That doesn’t mean you get to impose your superstitious beliefs on employees who might not appreciate it.

    Hire only believers who won’t WANT to violate your particular code of behavior. Problem solved.

    • Arekushieru

      That’s the thing, dago. If these people were all about protecting their religious freedom, they wouldn’t HIRE non-believers in the FIRST place.

  • Valde

    Now, where is the proof that they have this authority?

    Tradition. Someone actually used this as a justifiable reason. “They’ve been doing it a long time so you know, they are in the right here”.

    • Ella Warnock

      Abortion and contraception have been around longer than catholicism. So by their own logic, we should be in the right.

  • liberaldem

    I have a sincere belief that because I am not a member of the Catholic church that their beliefs should not govern my life. Does the Catholic hierarchy not understand that?

    • HeilMary1

      I have the sincere belief that pious playboys and pedophiles do not have the right to force deadly pregnancies on any women, especially those they haven’t personally banged.