Outlook good for Priests for Life re: HHS mandate

Monday, December 24, 2012
Charlie Butts (OneNewsNow.com)

Many Christian organizations are waiting on courts to determine if they must fulfill the federal mandate to provide free insurance coverage for birth control, abortion-causing drugs and sterilization.

Muise, Robert (AFLC) 2Attorneys argued the case for Priests for Life before a New York federal court last Thursday. Rob Muise, lead counsel and co-founder of the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC), tells OneNewsNow that pro-life organization is one of many facing the January 1 deadline. But when the judge in the case asked the federal attorney whether the government would enforce the mandate on that date, she had no answer.

"He adjourned for 30 minutes and told her to go call. And so she went and called Washington, DC, came back, said, 'I still don't have an answer,'" Muise accounts. "[He] gave her 20 more minutes, she went back and came back and said she still didn't have an answer."

So, the judge told the government a decision on enforcement is needed. Without one, they will be back in court December 26.

"What the judge is essentially saying to the government is you should not enforce this against Priests for Life and I'll let you reach that conclusion on your own terms. If not, we're going to be back here in court," Muise summarizes. "And it appears likely that he would issue an order telling them that they can't enforce it against Priests for Life."

In this particular case, he says that is a positive sign.

Priests for Life is headed by Frank Pavone, who has previously warned that civil disobedience may result if the government forces the mandate on people of faith.

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