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May 3, 2022 – Americans United for Separation of Church and State President and CEO Rachel Laser issued the following statement in response to reports of a leaked Supreme Court opinion written by Justice Alito and joined by Justices Thomas, Kavanaugh, Gorsuch and Barrett that would overturnRoe v. Wade:
Justice Alito’s draft opinion makes clear that this ultra-conservative Supreme Court will soon abolish the Constitutional right to an abortion.
The right to an abortion is a civil and human right that is essential to our health, equality and freedom. Abortion bans are an attack on religious freedom. They attempt to impose one religious viewpoint on all of us. Justice Sotomayor made that clear when she asked Mississippi about the justification for its abortion ban: ‘How is your interest anything but a religious view?’ Religious freedom demands the right to an abortion so people can make their own decisions according to their own principles.
The end of Roe is just the beginning. Next on the hit list are a broad array of protections for personal liberty. The same line of attack Alito uses on Roe and Casey can also be employed against contraception (Griswold v. Connecticut), interracial marriage (Loving v. Virginia), marriage equality (Obergefell v. Hodges) and basic LGBTQ rights (Lawrence v. Texas).
The religious extremists and their lawmaker allies who helped pack the Supreme Court under Trump are willing to destroy our democracy to force all of us to live by their narrow beliefs. They want a nationwide abortion ban. They will come for contraception. They will come for marriage equality and LGBTQ rights. They will come for racial justice.
They will not be satisfied until they have codified a white Christian nation.
The foundational principle of separation of church and state safeguards our right to live and believe as we choose. Our laws do not allow anyone to use their religious beliefs to harm others. Allowing one person’s religious beliefs to dictate another’s personal medical decisions is the very definition of harm. We’ll say it again: Reproductive freedom is religious freedom.
Americans United is a religious freedom advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, AU educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom. www.au.org