Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita defended the state abortion ban against pro-abortion religious freedom challenges Monday, saying Americans are not entitled to a “medical intervention that ends human life.”
WISH-TV reports Rokita’s office responded to a lawsuit filed in Marion County that claims the pro-life law violates the religious freedom of Jews and Muslims in Indiana.
“Rather than avoid unwanted medical treatment or duties imposed by law that would impinge their religious exercise, Plaintiffs use religious beliefs to demand medical intervention to end human life,” the attorney general’s office wrote. “The state is aware of no case in America holding that a religious belief entitles someone to medical intervention of any kind, much less intervention that ends human life. Such a claim would also seem to extend, for example, to physician-assisted suicide.”
Rokita’s office asked the judge to reject Hoosier Jews for Choice’s request to block the law. A hearing is scheduled for Oct. 14.
According to the Indy Star, the Jews for Choice lawsuit claims the abortion ban violates the state Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which prohibits the government from interfering with the exercise of religious beliefs unless it has a compelling interest in doing so (such as protecting human lives).
“For example, under Jewish law, a fetus attains the status of a living person only at birth,” the lawsuit argues. “Jewish law recognizes that abortions may occur, and should occur as a religious matter, under circumstances not allowed by (the near-total abortion ban) or existing Indiana law,” such as to prevent a “mother’s mental anguish.”
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However, this is not a belief that all Jews hold. Other Jewish leaders say the opposite, that their faith condemns abortion and recognizes babies in the womb as valuable human beings.
Indiana is facing several lawsuits challenging its pro-life law, including another that the Satanic Temple filed in September making a similar religious freedom argument. The satanic group believes killing unborn babies in abortions is a religious “ritual” and likens it to communion or baptism for Christians. In 2020, it even raffled off an abortion to raise money for its lawsuits.
The Indiana pro-life law protects unborn babies by banning almost all abortions. Exceptions are allowed in cases of rape, incest, fatal fetal anomalies or risks to the mother’s life.
In September, a judge temporarily blocked the law in response to a third lawsuit by several abortion facilities.
Pro-life leaders estimate the law, if enforced, will save about 161 babies from abortion every day.
Currently, 15 states protect unborn babies from abortion, and eight more, including Indiana, are fighting in court to do so. SBA Pro-Life America estimates approximately 200,000 unborn babies will be saved from abortions every year as a result of the pro-life laws that are in effect or soon may be in effect, pending legal challenges.