Religion

The loudest voices for ‘freedom of religion’ in the US are white conservative Christians. Typically, these same folks also claim that America was founded as a Judeo/Christian nation. Revealing that  ‘freedom’ is not their object  —  establishing a Christianity theocracy is.

Which makes the case of a Missouri Satanic Temple member so compelling. Here’s a woman, known only as Mary Doe, who is pursuing her religious freedom — in a way that will discombobulate the sanctimonious.

In 2015 Doe had undergone an abortion, while obeying all the state’s restrictions on the procedure. Restrictions she objected to. Let the Kansas City Star explain:

The woman, identified as Mary Doe in court documents, argued that her religion does not adhere to the idea that life begins at conception, and, because of that, the prerequisites for an abortion in Missouri are unconstitutionally violating her freedom of religion protected by the First Amendment.

Missouri, like many states with an enthusiasm for religious interference in medical matters, requires women to jump through hoops to get an abortion. This despite a professed loathing for ‘big government’.

Specifically, Missouri law requires ‘informed consent’.

The law compels women to wait 72 hours between their initial visit and the procedure, view an active ultrasound and sign a form pledging that they’ve read a booklet that includes the line, “[t]he life of each human being begins at conception. Abortion will terminate the life of a separate, unique, living human being.”

Mary Doe maintained that the law’s belief that life begins at conception was at odds with her belief that it didn’t. And thus Missouri was trampling on her religious freedom.

She claimed “the sole purpose of the law is to indoctrinate pregnant women into the belief held by some, but not all, Christians that a separate and unique human being begins at conception,” according to the court’s opinion. “Because the law does not recognize or include other beliefs, she contends that it establishes an official religion and makes clear that the state disapproves of her beliefs.”

A county circuit court had originally rejected her suit. In turn, the Western District Court of Appeals spanked them — ruling that she had presented “a contested matter of right that involves fair doubt and reasonable room for disagreement.” And now the matter will be heard by the Missouri Supreme Court.

Although, regardless of the outcome, I suspect this will make its way to federal judicial consideration.

(Credit: The Kansas City Star)

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