Abortion and Religious Rights

There have been a spate of new laws restricting or banning certain kinds of abortion in several states and more are undoubtedly coming. The rationale behind these laws as far as I can understand them is that according to the laws’ sponsors abortion is murder. It is murder because their understanding of the Bible informs them it is. Abortion kills life. These interpretations of the Bible are usually associated with what we loosely call the Religious Right, that is people who view the Bible as the word of God and who believe that it is their duty to make the society conform to their beliefs.  The Religious Right are also people who have been instrumental in implementing  what they call religious freedom laws, for example, laws that mean that a health care practitioner should not be required to perform any action not consistent with their religious beliefs.  Personally I do not object to anyone who holds those beliefs, to anyone who believes that abortion is murder. It is the advantage of living in a country where religious freedom still means something. But I do object of having the religious beliefs of some imposed upon me. What about the religious (or perhaps quasi-religious) freedom of people like me who do not share those beliefs? The body being formed in the womb is the vessel for life, not life itself. I believe that abortion kills the form that contains life—a huge difference, the implication being that that life would have to remain intact. Do these stringent new laws prevent me from the exercise of my own beliefs? The current law allowing abortion does not preclude anyone from exercising their beliefs. No one will have to have an abortion if they believe it to be murder. But the changes now in place in several states infringe upon the rights and beliefs of those of us who like me have a totally different view about abortion.

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