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Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

Overheard (March 2023)

A fetus is potential life, and that is worthy of great respect and is not to be taken lightly, but it does not supersede the life and health of the mother, period.

Cara Berg Raunick, a women’s health nurse practitioner, who was struck by how frequently faith was cited in the arguments to ban abortion in Indiana.

Associated Press, 12-27-22

Political demagogues in Tallahassee periodically threaten academic freedom and use professors as props in their efforts to fabricate an imagined internal enemy for their political gain. Whether it be the teaching of evolution in public colleges, offering vocal support for the Tallahassee Bus Boycott, or being terminated or expelled for being a gay or lesbian student or teacher, we’ve seen this all before.

Robert Cassanello, a professor of history at the University of Central Florida and a plaintiff in the first legal case against the so-called “Stop WOKE” Act.

Orlando Weekly, 1-19-23

I’m not opposed to faith-based schools. If parents want to send their children to faith-based schools, they should have that option. . . .

But I don’t see any circumstance in which some parents’ choice to send their children to faith-based schools should erode the separation of church and state on which Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and others built our country.

Victoria Riley, Greene County (Iowa) News publisher, in her column, “Using public funds for faith-based education is just plain wrong.”

Greene County News, 1-18-23

Leave it to Missouri’s radical-right Legislature to say the quiet part out loud. Their strict new abortion ban plainly declares that lawmakers are serving “Almighty God.” It was approved after floor debate that was equally proselytizing. Pro-choice faith leaders are now suing to overturn the law. They allege it violates Missouri’s Constitution, which, like its federal counterpart, explicitly prohibits government promotion of religion. It’s a strong case.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial, “Missouri’s abortion ban reads like a sermon. That’s a constitutional problem.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 1-21-23

Defending and protecting reproductive rights is essential to our nation’s health, safety, and progress. It is the policy of my administration to protect against threats to the liberty and autonomy of those who live in this country.

President Biden, in taking additional steps to ensure access to mifepristone, an abortion pill, in a “Memorandum on further efforts to protect access to reproductive health care services.”

Religion Clause, 1-24-23

If you’re asking how that momentous decision affected me, my word description would have varied from day to day. Sometimes I was shell-shocked. Other times, I was just deeply, deeply sad. And many times I did have a sense of despair about the direction my court was going. . . . Yet I realized that one doesn’t have an option to fall prey to despair, that I have to get up and keep on fighting.

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, responding about the high court majority’s reversal of Roe v. Wade, after the question, “How are you doing?,” was posed by Berkeley Law School Dean Erwin Chemerinsky  at an American Association of Law Schools event.

Associated Press, 1-19-23

Instead of debating bills of substance that would alleviate poverty, improve children’s lives, enhance citizens’ health, create affordable housing or address the existential issue of climate change, some legislators seem more invested in imposing their brand of Christianity on the rest of us.

Sonny Albarado, in his op-ed, “Arkansas’ would-be religious tyrants gather steam with ‘culture-war’ bills.

Arkansas Advocate, 1-23-23

No individual under 19 years of age shall be present at a religious indoctrination camp. Any person 19 years of age or older who knowingly brings an individual under 19 years of age to a religious indoctrination camp shall be guilty of a Class I misdemeanor. . . . There is a well-documented history of indoctrination and sexual abuse perpetrated by religious leaders and clergy people upon children.

Megan Hunt, Nebraska state senator, in her amendment to a proposed bill that would make it a crime for children to attend a drag show.

OnlySky, 1-29-23