"Religious Liberty" and Reproductive Rights

[Content Note: War on agency; Christian Supremacy.]

The Guttmacher Agency, still and always a national treasure, has just released an important report on how anti-choice activists are increasingly exploiting religious liberty in order to chip away at abortion and contraception access:
The term "religious liberty" has, in recent years, become highly politicized and distorted. Social conservatives have pulled together many of their long-standing political demands—targeting reproductive health and LGBT rights, most prominently—into an overarching campaign couched in the language of religious liberty.

On the basis of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and similar federal and state laws, they have argued in court, in legislatures and in the public square that laws meant to promote access to contraception or equal treatment of same-sex marriage, for example, are unlawfully restricting the rights of certain Americans to live according to their religious beliefs. In perhaps the highest profile example of this approach, conservatives have won another hearing in the U.S. Supreme Court this term on their claim that, in essence, any employer's assertion of religious liberty must trump their employees' right to contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

...Social conservatives are in effect using laws like RFRA to erode rights, programs and services that they wish to eliminate entirely but have been unable to do so directly through other means.
Emphasis mine. There is much, much more at the link, and I highly recommend reading the whole thing.

The author, Adam Sonfield, also urges lawmakers and activists to push back against this misuse of religious liberty—"Policymakers and advocates must guard against the abuse of these laws"—and details how it can be done and has been done in the past.

Let us fervently hope that our pro-choice policymakers aren't complacent in response to this obscene abuse of religious rights in order to restrict the reproductive rights of others.

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