The recently concluded hearings for soon-to-be-confirmed Judge Brett Kavanaugh sparked, among other things, an ongoing controversy over what Judge Kavanaugh said about the case my organization, Priests for Life, brought against the Obama Administration a few years ago. The case of Priests for Life vs. HHS,
which was heard in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and then went on to the Supreme Court (which vindicated our position) challenged the so-called “HHS mandate” under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
We claimed that the mandate placed us in a position of having to choose between following the law or following our faith, and that this was a position in which the government should never place any citizen. We did not want to participate in the distribution of abortion-inducing drugs and contraceptives through the health insurance plan we offer our employees, and we objected that even the “accommodation” the government gave us in this regard still, according to our religious principles, made us complicit in evil. (Among the personal plaintiffs in our case was our fulltime associate Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King, Jr.)
Judge Kavanaugh wrote an opinion that came down on our side.
But when he used the term “abortion-inducing drugs,” simply stating what the case itself states, Democratic Senators and pro-abortion groups criticized him for it, and Hillary Clinton even jumped in on the action.
Senator Kamala Harris tweeted, “Kavanaugh chooses his words very carefully, and this is a dog whistle for going after birth control. He was nominated for the purpose of taking away a woman’s constitutionally protected right to make her own health care decisions. Make no mistake - this is about punishing women.”
Accompanying the tweet was a video clip of what Judge Kavanaugh said about the Priests for Life case.
But the Washington Post called out Kamala on this, saying “A plain reading of his sentence, with its reference to ‘they said,’ suggests that he is merely reflecting the plaintiffs’ argument.”
Harris left out the words “They said.”
Politifact also commented, “In fact, [Kavanaugh] was citing the definition of the religious group Priests for Life. He has not expressed his personal view.”
But Kamala Harris’ fact-twisting and self-serving omission didn’t stop Hillary Clinton from jumping on board.
In a tweet just last week, she said, “I want to be sure we're all clear about something that Brett Kavanaugh said in his confirmation hearings last week. He referred to birth-control pills as 'abortion-inducing drugs.' That set off a lot of alarm bells for me, and it should for you, too.” And in another tweet she adds, “Kavanaugh … used that term because it's a dog whistle to the extreme right.”
Hillary talks about alarm bells going off, and this causes more than a few to go off for me.
First of all, when Priests for Life uses the term “abortion-inducing drugs,” we’re not making things up. In an excellent overview of the topic, my colleague Dr. Donna Harrison (a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist) writes,
Ella (Ulipristal/Ella-One) work by blocking a hormone necessary for embryos to live. RU-486 is the drug approved by the FDA to cause abortion. Ella is a second-generation version of RU-486. The two drugs work the same way in a woman’s body. … When Ella or RU-486 is taken after the embryo has formed, it blocks the action of progesterone. Progesterone prepares the mother’s body to allow the embryo to implant. When progesterone is blocked, the embryo cannot implant, or it implants imperfectly and subsequently “miscarries.” This was demonstrated clearly in the FDA trials that led to approval of Ella as an “emergency contraceptive.”
But for the Democratic Party and the abortion industry, it’s convenient to put the science aside (while criticizing others for doing so), to pursue ideology instead.
And not only do they misrepresent the science and the clear testimony of Judge Kavanaugh, but they also misrepresent the law itself.
Judge Kavanaugh’s opinion in the Priests for Life case is that it is not the role of the courts to pass judgment on the reasonableness or accuracy of our religious beliefs, but rather to protect our right to hold and live by them. At issue is not whether he or we should use the term “abortion-inducing drugs.” Neither, in other religious freedom cases, was the issue whether it’s reasonable for someone to insist that his beard cannot be shaved or his children should not be forced to undergo formal secondary education.
In all these cases, it is not for the court to judge religious beliefs, but to protect them.
If any alarms should be going off, it’s about letting the Democrats have any more power in this country when they ideologize everything, engage is such obvious disregard for truth, and lack basic respect for the religious freedom of their fellow citizens.
Fr. Frank Pavone is one of the most prominent pro-life leaders in the world. He became a Catholic priest in 1988 under Cardinal John O’Connor in New York. In 1993 he became National Director of Priests for Life. He is also the President of the National Pro-life Religious Council, and the National Pastoral Director of the Silent No More Campaign and of Rachel’s Vineyard, the world’s largest ministry of healing after abortion. He travels to about four states every week, preaching and teaching against abortion. He broadcasts regularly on television, radio, and internet. He was asked by Mother Teresa to speak in India on abortion, and was asked by then-candidate Donald Trump to serve on his Pro-life and Catholic advisory councils. He has served at the Vatican as an official of the Pontifical Council for the Family, which coordinates the pro-life activities of the Catholic Church. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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