|12/26/2012 8:09:00 AM
Priests for Life wins exemption from HHS mandate
A pro-life Catholic group has won a legal battle in court to get an exemption from having to comply with a federal Health and Human Services contraception mandate.
The mandate compels some religious employers to pay for and refer employees for birth control, abortion-causing drugs and contraception in violation of employers’ religious beliefs.
Last week, attorneys Robert Muise and David Yerushalmi presented oral argument in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York in support of Priests for Life. The next day, the federal government entered into a stipulation that it would not enforce the HHS mandate against Priests for Life pending a revision in the rules that would protect religious liberty.
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.”
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 doesn’t 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.
“We are not “religious” enough for this Administration,” Father Pavone said then. “But regardless of all that, we do not adapt to injustice; we oppose it.”