By Ben Johnson, LifeSite News
Despite the fact that his organization is named “Priests for Life” and its national director is an ordained clergyman, Fr. Frank Pavone says the pro-life Catholic group does not qualify for the Obama administration’s narrow definition of a religious organization. Thus, the organization would be forced to pay for all contraception, including abortfacient drugs, under Obama’s controversial birth control mandate.
This morning, the New York-based pro-life group filed suit against the Obama administration, saying the new mandate violates its First Amendment rights.
The lawsuit, filed in California court, seeks injunctive relief from the HHS rules.
Since Priests for Life is a private association registered as an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit educational corporation, it does not qualify for the Department of Health and Human Services religious exemption – which covers only churches and religious orders. A press release from the organization says it “therefore must comply with these conscience-violating mandates, decrees, and punitive measures.”
Priests for Life says it must begin implementing the contraceptive rule by this August. Religious institutions other than churches have until August 2013 to comply.
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