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Kristan HawkinsClaire Chretien / LifeSiteNews

April 27, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-life leaders say they expect President Trump to uphold his campaign promise to protect religious liberty despite the recent revelation that the Department of Justice (DOJ) continues to defend the HHS contraception mandate in court.

Earlier this week, the DOJ prolonged its defense of the Obama-era mandate requiring religious employers to participate in the provision of contraceptive and life-ending drugs and devices for employees. 

“As one of the petitioners to the US Supreme Court against the HHS contraceptive/abortifacient mandate, I want to make clear that we continue to be fully confident that our rights of religious freedom will be fully vindicated, and that groups like Priests for Life will not be forced to choose between following our faith and following the law when it comes to what kind of health insurance we offer our employees,” Priests for Life's Father Frank Pavone said. 

“There is light at the end of the tunnel,” said Pavone, because “we are in dialogue with an Administration that is a friend rather than a foe of religious freedom.” 

In June 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the government to work with religious employers to find a solution. Such a solution would have to protect employers' religious freedom while also allowing employees to easily gain contraception.

“People need to understand that this process continues,” said Pavone. He said Priests for Life is “fully confident that this matter will be resolved properly.”

The lawyers representing the Trump government in the case are the same ones who represented the Obama government.

“This is what happens when you leave Obama administration hold-overs in your administration,” Kristan Hawkins, President of Students for Life of America, told LifeSiteNews. “President Trump said he’s going to drain the swamp. He needs to drain the freaking swamp.”

“There are too many people from the Obama administration still working in this government and they need to be gone,” said Hawkins. “This is now an embarrassment for the Trump administration.”