Judge makes abortion ruling based on beliefs of pagans

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

A judge in Indiana has said that a new law that would protect nearly all unborn children from abortion cannot take effect – because it violates the religious beliefs of pagans.

It is the Washington Stand that has documented the decision from Heather Welch, a superior court judge in Marion County.

Welch released a decision and an accompanying injunction against the state’s pro-life law because she said it violates the views of Hoosier Jews for Choice and a handful of individuals – all anonymous.

The individuals include a couple of Jewish people, a Muslim, and a pagan.

Welch justified the ruling with: “[M]any [p]agans believe that in recognition of women’s autonomy demanded by their sincere beliefs, women must be allowed to obtain abortions.”

The Stand report noted, “Legal authorities say Welch’s ruling misses the point of both the state’s abortion and religious liberty laws. Indiana’s RFRA — like the national RFRA signed by President Bill Clinton — prohibits the government from substantially burdening anyone’s religious beliefs except ‘in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest,’ and it requires politicians to use ‘the least restrictive means possible. The government has a compelling interest in protecting innocent life, and no less restrictive means are available than prohibiting abortion.”

The Stand reported the arguments in the case align with a strategy known to be used by the Satanic Temple to fight pro-life protections.

That organization demands that its church “abortion ritual” is part of the “religion.”

That argument, however, never has prevailed in a court because, “[i]t is not enough that your religion permits abortion; it has to be the reason, or at least one main reason, for the abortion. I don’t know any religion that teaches that as a general matter,” was the explanation from University of Virginia law professor Douglas Laycock.

There also are members of the Jewish community who dispute the concept that Judaism sanctions “child murder.”

Todd Rokita, attorney general for the state, explained, “Science, not religion, tells us that abortion kills a human being. When a legislature outlaws abortion, it extends the same ethical judgment embodied in laws prohibiting homicide. Making ethical judgments about the treatment of human beings is a compelling function of government. Indeed, the very nature of law is to make ethical judgments about human actions and their consequences. Just because a legal rule affects an ethical judgment does not make it ‘religious.'”

The ACLU represented the pro-abortion agenda in court, and the report noted it highlighted the pro-abortion advocacy of the Unitarian-Universalists and Episcopalians.

The report noted that the Supreme Court already has ruled in a Hyde Amendment fight that a woman who claims such provisions violated her religious beliefs lacked standing.

“None alleged, much less proved, that she sought an abortion under compulsion of religious belief,” the court said in that case.

Rokita told the Stand, “Laws protecting religious exercise are not commitments to anarchy.”

The Biden administration has openly criticized Indiana’s law that protects children from abortion with exceptions only for rape and incest, as well as lethal fetal anomalies.

Rokita told the Stand he would continue to fight for the law.

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