Jewish congregations mount legal challenges to state abortion bans

AUGUST 26, 2022

Thousands of years of Jewish scripture make it clear that access to abortion care is a requirement of Jewish law and practice, according to Rabbi Karen Bogard.

“We preserve life at all costs,” she said in an interview with States Newsroom. “But there is a difference between that which is living, and that which is not yet living.”


History shows that the First Amendment should protect abortion

Antiabortion activists have long sought to prevent this.

Perspective by Rachel Kranson
May 12, 2022

A leaked opinion revealed that the Supreme Court is potentially poised to reverse the long-standing legal precedent that established a constitutional right to abortion under the 14th Amendment’s right to privacy. That has left champions of abortion rights wondering about other legal avenues that could ensure reproductive freedom. Might the Constitution guarantee abortion access as a First Amendment, religious right?

Many Americans are surprised by the notion that a religious tradition could permit or even mandate the termination of a pregnancy. They assume all religions endorse the conservative Christian view that life begins at conception, rendering abortion akin to murder.


USA – The Supreme Court is leading a Christian conservative revolution

Almost as soon as Justice Barrett was confirmed, the Court handed down a revolutionary “religious liberty” decision. It hasn’t slowed down since.

By Ian Millhiser 
Jan 30, 2022

Justice Amy Coney Barrett had been a member of the Supreme Court for less than a month when she cast the key vote in one of the most consequential religion cases of the past century.

Months earlier, when the seat she would fill was still held by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Court had handed down a series of 5-4 decisions establishing that churches and other houses of worship must comply with state occupancy limits and other rules imposed upon them to slow the spread of Covid-19.


US Muslim advocates weigh in on abortion rights battle

Imminent threat to Roe v Wade raises concern from many religious communities across the US, including Muslim Americans.

By Dalia Hatuqa
Published On 26 Jan 2022

Forty-nine years ago, the US Supreme Court
issued a ruling that changed the lives of American women, formally legalising
the right to abortion across the United States.

Now, as Roe v Wade faces its most serious threat in decades, Muslim Americans,
like many others across the US, have been contemplating what overturning that
decision could mean for women’s reproductive rights and access to safe


USA – How the Satanic Temple Could Bring Abortion Rights to the Supreme Court

By using the same religious liberty argument as Hobby Lobby, The Satanic Temple is trying to have its members exempted from state abortion laws

August 24, 2020

One of the overarching themes of the Supreme Court’s recent term was that it was surprisingly liberal on several major issues: upholding gay rights, striking down an abortion restriction, and rejecting the President’s request to be immune from having to turn over his financial records. All of this is true, but that doesn’t make this Court liberal. Rather, despite these rulings, this is still a very conservative court. And one area this has been evident is religious freedom.

In a series of three cases, the Court ruled that religion has a particularly special place in American law. So special, in fact, that religious entities can be exempt from generally applicable anti-discrimination laws, can refuse to follow Obamacare mandates about coverage of preventive medical care, and can force the state to send them public funds for students at their religious schools. This has been a trend for the John Roberts Supreme Court — religious entities have won claims of religious liberty in 12 of the 13 cases to come before the Court since 2012.


“For Those on Both Sides”: An Interview with Mary Ziegler about Abortion and the Law in America


Recently, Florida State University law professor Mary Ziegler sat down with Nursing Clio to talk about her new book, Abortion and the Law in America: Roe v. Wade to the Present. The book illustrates how the question of “abortion rights” is only one piece of the puzzle – rather both antiabortion and pro-choice advocates have spent decades in a tug-of-war over policy, funding issues, and larger questions about public health. As Ziegler carefully demonstrates, these battles actually deepened political polarization on abortion and have shaped the debate in increasingly intractable ways. Her interview with Nursing Clio editor Lauren MacIvor Thompson has been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Lauren: Your book does such a wonderful job laying out the legal landscape of the complex history of abortion. What drove your narrative and organization of the book?


Supreme Court says employers may opt out of Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate over religious, moral objections

Supreme Court ruling may cause tens of thousands to lose birth control coverage

By Robert Barnes

July 8, 2020

The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the Trump administration may allow employers and universities to opt out of the Affordable Care Act requirement to provide contraceptive care because of religious or moral objections.

The issue has been at the heart of an intense legal
battle for nine years — first with the Obama administration sparring with
religious organizations who said offering contraceptive care to their employees
violated their beliefs, and then with the Trump administration broadening an
exemption, angering women’s groups, health organizations and Democratic-led

Trump Administration Strengthens ‘Conscience Rule’ for Health Care Workers

Trump Administration Strengthens ‘Conscience Rule’ for Health Care Workers
A shift in the balance between the rights of patient and provider, with religion in the middle.

By Margot Sanger-Katz
May 2, 2019

President Trump on Thursday announced an expanded “conscience rule” to protect health care workers who oppose abortion, sterilization, assisted suicide and other medical procedures on religious or moral grounds.

The rule establishes guidelines for punishing health care institutions with the loss of federal funds if they fail to respect the rights of such workers.


USA – New Rule Allows Religious Workers To Refuse Abortion Services

New Rule Allows Religious Workers To Refuse Abortion Services

May 2, 2019

NPR's Audie Cornish talks with Mary Ziegler, law professor at Florida State University, about a new federal rule that protects religious health care workers from performing abortion-related services.


We want to look more closely now at what this ruling means for women who may need abortions. We're joined by Mary Ziegler. She's a law professor at Florida State University and author of the book "Beyond Abortion: Roe v. Wade And The Fight For Privacy." Welcome to the program.

MARY ZIEGLER: Thanks for having me.


USA – How The Administration’s Proposed ‘Conscience’ Rule Undermines Reproductive Health and Patient Care

How The Administration’s Proposed ‘Conscience’ Rule Undermines Reproductive Health and Patient Care

Adam Sonfield,Guttmacher Institute
First published on Health Affairs Blog: March 21, 2018

On January 19, the Trump administration proposed new regulations to interpret and enforce more than 20 federal statutory provisions related to “conscience and religious freedom.” Collectively, as interpreted by the administration, these statutes would grant broad powers to individuals and organizations in the health care field and beyond to refuse to provide or be involved with services, information, and referrals to which they have religious or moral objections. That includes services related to abortion, contraception, end-of-life care, global health care assistance, vaccination, and much more. The proposed regulations and steps to enforce them have real potential to undermine existing legal and ethical protections for patients’ access to sexual and reproductive health information and services, and other critical care.