Americans United for Separation of Church and State President and CEO Rachel Laser issued the following statement in response to U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk’s unprecedented decision today to overturn a decades-old approval of mifepristone, an FDA-approved drug used in medication abortions, which will effectively implement a nationwide ban on the drug when the order goes into effect (the order is stayed for seven days, pending appeal):
“Judge Kacsmaryk’s unconscionable decision advances the agenda of religious extremists seeking to force all of us to live according to their religious beliefs. Kacsmaryk, whose anti-reproductive freedom views have been well-documented, worked for the Christian Nationalist legal group First Liberty Institute prior to his lifetime judicial appointment. This opinion embodies the ideology he fought to impose on the country while at First Liberty. It advances the Christian Nationalist agenda to ban abortion, which would 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.
Case Offers Snapshot Of Machinations Of The Shadow Network
“This case offers a snapshot of the machinations of the shadow network of well-funded and politically connected organizations working to undermine church-state separation and so many of the issues Americans care about that rely on it, including abortion rights and LGBTQ equality. The case features a who’s who of Christian Nationalist legal outfits, with the judge an alum of one of the most active. The case was brought by Alliance Defending Freedom, another Christian Nationalist legal group. A slew of anti-abortion organizations filed briefs supporting the ban, from Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council to Jay Sekulow’s American Center for Law and Justice to Mike Pence’s Advancing American Freedom.
“These shadow network organizations have an overfunded war chest and outsized political influence, but they don’t represent the views of the majority of Americans. Their goal is to impose their extremist beliefs on us all, and that’s precisely why we must separate church and state. 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 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.
Associate Vice President of Communications