January 2024 Church & State Magazine - January 2024

Supreme Court to hear case challenging access to abortion drug

 

The U.S. Supreme Court announced Dec. 13 that it will hear a case challenging Americans’ ability to access mifepristone, a safe and effective drug used in medication abortions and miscarriage management.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State President and CEO Rachel Laser issued the following statement:

 “Abortion is a civil and human right that is essential to our health, equality and freedom. Mifepristone — a medication unequivocally proven to be safe and effective — is key to ensuring equal access to abortion, especially for Black, Indigenous and other people of color, people working to make ends meet, LGBTQ+ people and others who face excessive barriers to health care. 

“We knew that the end of Roe signaled the beginning of a new wave of attacks on abortion rights by religious extremists who are seeking to force all of us to live by their narrow beliefs. This case features a who’s who of Christian Nationalist groups that are part of a well-funded and politically connected shadow network that is working to undermine church-state separation and our democracy. Alliance Defending Freedom brought the case. First Liberty Institute is where Judge Kacsmaryk, the district court judge to first ban mifepristone, worked prior to his lifetime judicial appointment. A slew of anti-abortion organizations filed briefs supporting the ban, from Family Research Council to American Center for Law and Justice to Advancing American Freedom. 

“Abortion and contraception bans violate the separation of church and state by enshrining one narrow religious viewpoint into our law. If America is to make good on its promise of religious freedom, each of us must be free to make our own decisions about our own bodies based on our own beliefs. That’s why we need a national recommitment to the separation of church and state. It’s the shield that protects freedom without favor and equality without exception for all of us.”

Americans United joined more than 200 reproductive rights, civil rights, religious and other social justice organizations in an earlier friend-of-the-court brief that urged the Supreme Court to protect nationwide access to mifepristone after U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk issued the unprecedented decision to ban the drug, imperiling the health and safety of millions of people.

The case is FDA v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine.

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