Kentucky is the latest state to face a religious freedom challenge to its pro-life laws.
Recently, Jewish and Satanic groups also sued Idaho, Indiana and Florida, alleging that protecting unborn babies from abortion violates their religious beliefs.
On Thursday, three Jewish women from Louisville filed a lawsuit that argues the Kentucky abortion ban, which is saving thousands of unborn babies, would prohibit them from exercising their religious beliefs, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.
“In Judaism, reproductive health of a mother is between the mother, her rabbi and her doctor — not the attorney general,” their attorney Aaron Kemper said.
However, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron responded by promising to protect unborn babies’ right to life, which the law now protects.
“Although we have not received the complaint, I am committed to defending Kentucky’s pro-life laws,” Cameron said in a statement. “The General Assembly has made it clear that Kentucky will protect unborn life and these laws are an important part of the Commonwealth.”
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The lawsuit, filed in Jefferson County Circuit Court, claims state laws that ban abortions (except if the mother’s life is at risk) favor Christian beliefs about when life begins and violate those of Jews who believe life does not begin at conception, according to the report. It claims the abortion ban violates the Kentucky Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
The suit argues that the protections for unborn babies have “little to no relationship with scientific understanding of fetal development” and are “internally contradictory, vague and unintelligible.”
“Forcing a mother to deliver a dead fetus to term, or one that will certainly die moments after birth, does not advance a governmental interest to protect fetal life, is contrary to Jewish law, severely damages the mental health of the mother, is flatly cruel and degrading, does nothing to promote ‘life’ and serves no legitimate purpose at all,” the lawsuit argues.
Lisa Sobel, Jessica Kalb and Sarah Baron are the three women named in the lawsuit, according to the newspaper.
Here’s more from the report:
Baron, 37, has two children, but faces a higher risk of passing along genetic anomalies, like the fatal Tay-Sachs disease, should she choose to have more kids, the suit says.
Daniel Grossberg, a Democratic state representative-elect and Jewish activist, said many Jewish women “wouldn’t even consider” having kids without reproductive freedom.
“Jewish women are not going to get pregnant if they know that they’re going to get that scan and be told, ‘you’re forced to carry this to term and suffer and the fetus who will become a baby will have to suffer as well,’” Grossberg said.
Their lawsuit claims Jewish law teaches that human life does not begin at conception and abortions are required in some circumstances.
However, this is not settled in the Jewish faith. Other rabbis say Judaism condemns abortion, pointing to religious texts that recognize the value of babies in the womb and condemn the murder of innocent human beings, including those not yet born.
Responding to a similar lawsuit in Indiana this week, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita said Americans are not entitled to a “medical intervention that ends human life.”
“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.”
Currently, 15 states, including Kentucky, protect unborn babies from abortion, and eight more 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.