Archive: “News and Commentary” Category
Posted by Ann Scheidler (September 11, 2015 at 4:00 pm)
The Pro-Life Action League has often turned to Office Depot to print larger signs or posters for a pro-life event or protest, as well as to make volume copies of flyers. Maria Goldstein, founder and director of Northwest Families for Life, based in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, has done the same.
But on August 20, Maria submitted an order online to Office Depot for 500 copies of a fact sheet on Planned Parenthood, which also included a prayer for the conversion of those who work for Planned Parenthood, written by Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life. (That fact sheet/prayer is here [PDF].)
Violation of Corporate Policy?
Maria was stunned to get a call from Office Depot later that day with the message that they could not process her request because it was a violation of their corporate policy. She asked what that policy might be that would preclude printing a prayer and a statement of facts taken directly from Planned Parenthood’s own annual report. [Continue reading ...]
Posted by Eric Scheidler (August 27, 2014 at 7:30 pm)
After losing in the Hobby Lobby v Burwell Supreme Court case earlier this summer, the Obama administration has just issued new rules for the notorious “HHS Mandate,” the Obamacare provision that requires all employee health plans to include free contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs.
This marks the eighth time the Obama administration has modified the HHS Mandate. Once again, they’re refusing to listen to the American people—or even the U.S. Supreme Court—and truly respect the employers’ conscience rights.
The new rules are nothing more than a slight variation of the so-called “accommodation” first announced in February 2012, whereby some “third party” will provide the objectionable services. I called that scheme a shell game at the time, and the description still fits. Others have called it an “accounting gimmick.”
All that’s changed is the paperwork involved in the process, which still requires employers to cooperate in providing contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs through their health plans—or face annual fines up up to $36,500 per employee for refusing to go along. [Continue reading ...]
Posted by John Jansen (January 10, 2014 at 10:42 am)
Recently Planned Parenthood sent out an email to their supporters highlighting their “Top 5″ moments from 2013.
Considering how much time and resources the nation’s largest abortion chain put in to shilling for the Affordable Care Act/ACA/Obamacare, it’s no surprise that the ACA’s provision that employers—regardless of any conscientious objection—provide free contraception made the list.
Notice how Planned Parenthood framed it:
The ACA covers preventive care with no copay under all plans — meaning women get birth control with no out-of-pocket cost. Many women now have access to affordable birth control for the first time ever. There’s really only one response to that:
[Continue reading ...]
Posted by Matt Yonke (January 2, 2014 at 4:44 pm)
Over the Christmas holidays, several new breakthroughs emerged in the legal challenges against President Obama’s HHS Mandate.
First, and most notably, on New Year’s Eve Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor granted a preliminary injunction against the Mandate to the Little Sisters of the Poor, a group of Catholic nuns who minister to the elderly. The sisters had appealed a lower court’s decision denying them injunctive relief, so it was a great boon to see Justice Sotomayor reverse that ruling.
Next, Stand Up Coalition members Priests for Life were also granted injunctive relief in their suit against the Mandate, along with other similar groups that are obviously religious, but whose main mission is not providing religious services, like Thomas Aquinas College, a Catholic liberal arts college in California. [Continue reading ...]
Posted by Matt Yonke (December 17, 2013 at 12:37 pm)
A group of New York Catholic institutions have scored a huge victory against the Obamacare contraception mandate yesterday.
The ruling from federal district judge Brian Cogan granted permanent relief from the HHS Mandate to Cardinal Spellman High School, Monsignor Farrell High School, Catholic Health Care System and its affiliates, and Catholic Health Services of Long Island on the grounds that it would compel them to perform acts undeniably at odds with fundamental tenets of their religious beliefs.
This, of course, has been the argument of religious institutions and religious business owners since the Mandate was first announced in 2012. Judges have now granted injunctions to both private businesses and religious institutions, and no judge has yet sided with the Obama Administration.
This is extremely good news for all 89 cases still being litigated against the Mandate. The Stand Up Rally coalition will continue to report on these cases as they develop, so stay tuned!
Posted by Matt Yonke (December 4, 2013 at 1:59 pm)
In light of the US Supreme Court’s recent announcement that it will hear the Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood v. Sebelius cases concerning the HHS Mandate, the University of Notre Dame has re-filed their case against the Mandate.
University president Fr. John Jenkins said in a press release:
Our abiding concern in both the original filing of May 21, 2012, and this re-filing has been Notre Dame’s freedom—and indeed the freedom of many religious organizations in this country—to live out a religious mission. We have sought neither to prevent women from having access to services, nor even to prevent the government from providing them.
[Continue reading ...]
Posted by Matt Yonke (November 26, 2013 at 12:18 pm)
The US Supreme Court announced today that they will hear two critical cases in the fight against the HHS Mandate.
The two cases represent two sides of the issue. Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius, filed by Mennonite cabinet makers, is a case brought by a private business against the government, while Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., regarding the well known craft store chain, is a case brought by the government against a private business.
It is our hope that by taking both of these cases, it is a sign of the Supreme Court’s intention to take a thorough review of the Mandate and its implications. [Continue reading ...]
Posted by Matt Yonke (November 18, 2013 at 10:01 am)
Last week, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) met in Washington DC for their annual General Assembly.
At the close of their meeting, the Bishops issued public statement, re-affirming their opposition to President Obama’s HHS Mandate:
Beginning in March 2012, in United for Religious Freedom, we identified three basic problems with the HHS mandate: it establishes a false architecture of religious liberty that excludes our ministries and so reduces freedom of religion to freedom of worship; it compels our ministries to participate in providing employees with abortifacient drugs and devices, sterilization, and contraception, which violates our deeply-held beliefs; and it compels our faithful people in business to act against our teachings, failing to provide them any exemption at all.
Despite our repeated efforts to work and dialogue toward a solution, those problems remain. Not only does the mandate undermine our ministries’ ability to witness to our faith, which is their core mission, but the penalties it imposes also lay a great burden on those ministries, threatening their very ability to survive and to serve the many who rely on their care.
Read the full statement at the USCCB website, and let’s continue to uphold in prayer the US bishops and all those leading the fight for our religious liberty!
Posted by Eric Scheidler (November 12, 2013 at 2:43 pm)
Last week another court sided with plaintiffs seeking to stop enforcement of the HHS Mandate against them for refusing to provide free contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs to employees.
This time it was the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Chicago, which instructed a lower court to enter a preliminary injunction to prevent the federal government from enforcing the HHS Mandate against Cyril and Jane Korte, and their southern Illinois construction company, Korte & Luitjohan Contractors, Inc.
The Korte’s are devout Catholics who say the HHS Mandate requires them to violate their religious faith. But a district court judge refused to grant a preliminary injunction to prevent the federal government from imposing huge fines on them while they fight the HHS Mandate in court.
A court can grant such a preliminary injunction when a judge determines that plaintiffs are likely to prevail—as the Seventh Circuit clearly thinks the Kortes are.
Attorney Edward White of the American Center for Law and Justice, who argued on behalf of the Kortes at the Seventh Circuit, offers more details about the case here.
Here’s hoping that the Kortes will prevail in their lawsuit against the HHS Mandate, which can not proceed without destroying their business, and that all employers will soon see their religious freedoms protected from this kind of government intrusion.
Posted by Matt Yonke (October 7, 2013 at 4:10 pm)
Today the Supreme Court begins a new term in which it may hear two cases related to the HHS Mandate.
Between this and the turmoil in Washington over funding Obamacare, today seems like a good day to take stock of the landscape in the ongoing legal challenges against the Mandate.
Of the 35 for-profit businesses that have brought lawsuits against the HHS Mandate so far, 30 have received temporary injunctions. This means that they do not have to obey the HHS Mandate while their case is pending. This kind of relief is typically granted when a judge believes they have a good chance of winning their case, which makes those numbers a very good sign. [Continue reading ...]