Religious leaders in Florida (USA) asked in several lawsuits to revoke the controversial law anti-abortion of the state, which prohibits interrupting the pregnancy after 15 weeks of gestation, including in cases of rape or incest, because, according to the claim, “it violates religious freedom.”
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These are five new lawsuits filed by religious leaders from South Florida and the city of Tampa (west coast), on behalf of diverse congregations that profess Reformed Judaism, Buddhism, Episcopalianism, Unitarianism and the United Church of Christ.
The lawsuits were filed to overturn the new HB5 law, called the “Fetal and Infant Mortality Reduction Act,” passed by state Congress in early March amid much controversy.
The new law came into force on July 1.
The rule reduces the period in which a pregnant woman can legally interrupt her pregnancy from 24 to 15 weeks and only contemplates two exceptions: that the life of the mother is in danger and that the fetus has malformations.
“Since time immemorial, the question of when a fetus or potential fetus becomes alive and how to value maternal life during a pregnancy has been answered in accordance with religious beliefs and creeds,” the lawsuits argue, quoted on Tuesday by the newspaper. Florida Politics.
According to the aforementioned media, the religious leaders directly sued elected officials throughout the state, from Attorney General Ashley Moody to Miami-Dade County State Attorney Katherine Fernández Rundle.
The plaintiffs demand an immediate suspension of the application of the law by the state and that it be declared unconstitutional.
In late June, Circuit Judge John C. Cooper of Leon County (north) ruled that the state’s ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy violates the state constitution, for which he issued an order to temporarily block the entry into force of the measure.
A few days later, the state of Florida appealed the judge’s order.
The new plaintiffs are Rabbi Robyn Fisher of Beth Or Miami; Rabbi Gayle Pomerantz of Temple Beth Sholom in Miami Beach; and Rabbi Jason Rosenberg of Congregation Beth Am in Tampa.
They are joined by Lama Karma Chotso, from the Open Awareness Buddhist Center, in Miami; Rev. Tom Capo, of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Miami; Reverend Lauri Hafner, of Coral Gables United Church of Christ, and an anonymous priest of the Episcopal Church of Miami-Dade, collects the aforementioned medium.
Last June, the Jewish congregation L’Dor Va-Dor, from Boynton Beach, in Florida’s Palm Beach County (southeast), argued in another lawsuit that the new regulations violate the rights of religious freedom.
That same month, the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), an organization dedicated to promoting reproductive rights, filed the first lawsuit against the new regulations and asked that the courts “prevent the ban from going into effect.”
This Tuesday, the US Department of Justice sued the state of Idaho for violating the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Law, to try to protect doctors who have to intervene when abortion is “the medical treatment necessary to stabilize the condition emergency medical care of a patient.
This is the first action by the Department of Justice against a state since last June the Supreme Court annulled the ruling “Roe v. Wade” and thus eliminated federal protection of the right to abortion, ceding their legislation to the states.
For their part, the voters of Kansas pronounced this Tuesday in a referendum on whether the state Constitution should continue to protect abortion, in the first plebiscite of its kind since the US Supreme Court revoked the guarantees to this right.