Supreme Court Takes Away Freedom of Religion
On June 24th, the Supreme Court issued the opinion regarding Dobbs v. Jackson, overturning Roe v. Wade. Justice Alito, writing for the 6-3 majority, stated the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion and that the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives. He writes extensively about the status of abortion laws in our country at the time of the passage of the 14th amendment to the Constitution. Remember that slaves had just become free people and women still did not have the right to vote at that time. Nowhere in his opinion is there any statement about the fact that freedom of religion is in the first amendment to our Constitution- in the same spot that freedom of speech is placed. I had to read the entire opinion to make sure that I was not missing something in the legal arguments. He neglected to consider that freedom of religion was one of the primary reasons that our country was founded to begin with. Freedom of religion has been an important part of the history of our country from its beginning. Even during this term of the Supreme Court there were considerations of how freedom of religion and freedom of speech interact with government rules and regulations.
Because of Dobbs v. Jackson, the Supreme Court says that my faith- my religion- is not acceptable in our country. Millions of people believe in the religion that I believe in. There are multiple denominations within the Christian religion. I am a Christian who believes that God thinks it is correct for a woman and her physician and her advisers to decide how best to handle an unplanned pregnancy. The Jewish faith supports a woman's right to choose. Other religions do as well. See the details in my book What Should I Do? There are Christians in other denominations who believe that God thinks that all abortions are wrong, and that they have the right to impose their religious beliefs on the rest of society. The Supreme Court just declared that their religion is the correct religion. I had sent a copy of my book to each member of the Supreme Court back in December of 2021 when it was just published. The tragedy is that many more women in our country will die from complications of pregnancy, labor, and delivery, or they will die from unsafe abortions. Their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness has certainly been restricted by this ruling.
On this 4th of July holiday, I celebrate our country and my freedom of speech. But I mourn the loss of freedom of religion for millions of our citizens and its implications for the functioning of our society. I call on all citizens who believe in freedom of religion to work towards re-establishing this fundamental right of women to decide what happens to their body.