Reproductive Rights

Americans United Urges Kentucky Supreme Court To Protect Religious Freedom By Blocking Abortion Bans

More About This Issue

Amicus Brief Filed in Cameron v. EMW Women’s Surgical Center Explains Abortion Bans Violate Religious Freedom By Imposing One Religious Belief On All Kentuckians

Americans United for Separation of Church and State today was joined by sixteen religious and religious freedom organizations in urging the Kentucky Supreme Court to protect religious freedom by blocking two state abortion bans that impose legislators’ religious views on all Kentuckians, in violation of the religious freedom protections in the Kentucky Constitution.

“The Kentucky Constitution promises ‘no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious sect, society or denomination.’ As the circuit court already noted in this case, these abortion bans violate that promise by ‘impermissibly establishing a distinctly Christian doctrine of the beginning of life, and by unduly interfering with the free exercise of other religions that do not share that same belief,’” said Rachel Laser, President and CEO of Americans United. “Religious freedom demands access to abortion so people can make their own reproductive decisions according to their own principles and beliefs. Abortion bans undermine religious freedom by imposing one religious viewpoint on all of us. Abortion bans are a direct attack on the separation of church and state.”

In an amicus brief filed today in Cameron v. EMW Women’s Surgical Center, the organizations explain: “In enacting the trigger ban and six-week ban, Kentucky legislators sought to impose their religious beliefs about life and abortion on all Kentuckians. Doing so threatens a healthy religious pluralism and compounds the threat of religiously based strife by creating stronger incentives for religious groups to seek to impose their own beliefs through legislation so as to prevent others’ beliefs from being forced on them.”

Joining Americans United on the brief are the American Humanist Association; Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice; Central Conference of American Rabbis; General Synod of the United Church of Christ; Global Justice Institute, Metropolitan Community Churches; HEART Women and Girls; Hindu American Foundation; Kentucky Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice; Men of Reform Judaism; Muslim Advocates; People For the American Way; Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice; Sikh Coalition; Union for Reform Judaism; and Unitarian Universalist Association.

Disclosure: Michele Henry, a member of the Americans United Board of Trustees, is one of the attorneys representing the Plaintiffs. She had no role in drafting any part of the brief.

Americans United is a religious freedom advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, AU educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.

Press Contact

Liz Hayes
Associate Vice President of Communications
[email protected]

An American Original

Is the separation of church and state in the Constitution?

Absolutely. The separation of church and state is baked into our founding documents and our system of government.

The “wall of separation between church and state” is an American original. It’s an American invention. We should be proud of that fact. And we should fight any disinformation that threatens this ideal.

Read More