ACLU of Indiana files lawsuit claiming Indiana abortion ban violates RFRA

(USAF / Joshua Magbanua)
Published: Sep. 8, 2022 at 1:19 PM EDT
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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) - The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Indiana has filed its second lawsuit taking aim at Indiana’s abortion ban.

BACKGROUND: Indiana abortion clinics sue to block ban set to take effect

According to the group, a lawsuit was filed on Thursday on behalf of Hoosier Jews for Choice, and five women who they say have sincere religious beliefs that they must be able to obtain an abortion under circumstances that would be prohibited by the ban, S.E.A. 1. They say that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), passed in 2015, prohibits government action that interferes with a person’s religious exercise, unless the government can prove it has a compelling reason for doing so that is the least restrictive alternative available.

The lawsuit says that although some religions believe that human life begins at conception, this is not a universal belief.

“The plaintiffs represent a wide variety of faiths including, Judaism, Islam, and independent spiritual belief systems. This group represents the larger class of Hoosiers whose religious beliefs are burdened if they are unable to obtain an abortion in situations prohibited by S.E.A. 1. The ACLU of Indiana is filing a request for injunctive relief on behalf of this class,” a press release sent by the ACLU says.

Currently, S.E.A. 1 is set to go into effect on September 15.

“Indiana’s RFRA law protects religious freedom for all Hoosiers, not just those who practice Christianity,” ACLU of Indiana Legal Director Ken Falk says. “The ban on abortion will substantially burden the exercise of religion by many Hoosiers who, under the new law, would be prevented from obtaining abortions, in conflict with their sincere religious beliefs.”

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