May 26, 2019 – The aggressive abortion ban bills being considered in states across the country may not explicitly mention religion, but it’s clear that these bills and the restrictive policies they propose are religiously motivated.
Take Alabama, for example: Last week, Gov. Kay Ivey (R) signed into law a total abortion ban, which provides no exceptions for pregnancies that are the result of rape or incest and would send doctors performing abortions to prison for up to 99 years.
“This legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God,” Ivey said after she signed the bill.
Alabama Sen. Clyde Chambliss (R-Montgomery), a leading proponent of the ban and one of the 25 white men in the state Senate who voted for it, explained his religion-based rationale: “I believe that if we terminate the life of an unborn child, we are putting ourselves in God’s place.”
Days after Ivey signed the Alabama bill, Missouri legislators passed their own restrictive bill that bans abortion before many women even know they’re pregnant. In an attempt to justify the lack of exceptions for rape and incest, Rep. Holly Rehder (R-Sikeston) said: “How can someone look at a child of rape or incest and care for them? I can say how we can do that. We can do that with the love of God.”
These abortion bans hurt women, ignore our constitutional rights and willfully undermine church-state separation. They are part of the larger Christian nationalist effort in America – the same Religious Right agenda that motivates Project Blitz, the coordinated initiative to codify the United States as a far-right evangelical Christian America and weaponize religious freedom as a means to harm others, especially women, LGBTQ people and religious minorities.
As Americans United has been explaining on our social media feeds, abortion is a church-state separation issue. That’s why we joined the American Civil Liberties Union, NARAL, Planned Parenthood and many other allies for the #StopTheBans rally outside the Supreme Court yesterday to fight back and speak out against these draconian policies.
The Religious Right’s attacks on church-state separation aren’t limited to women’s reproductive freedom – they also threaten LGBTQ people, religious minorities and true religious freedom for all.
Join us in fighting for church-state separation like your life and freedom depend on it – because they do.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State is a nonpartisan educational and advocacy organization dedicated to advancing the separation of religion and government as the only way to ensure freedom of religion, including the right to believe or not believe, for all. www.au.org