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ACLU files new lawsuit claiming Indiana's abortion law violates religious freedom rights

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Posted at 1:51 PM, Sep 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-08 14:45:15-04

INDIANAPOLIS — The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana has filed a new lawsuit claiming the state's new abortion law violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

It comes a little over the week after the ACLU and other organizations, including Planned Parenthood, filed a separate lawsuit challenging Senate Enrolled Act 1, arguing the legislation violates privacy rights and equal privileges protections.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Hoosier Jews for Choice and five women who have religious beliefs that they must be able to obtain an abortion "under circumstances prohibited by S.E.A. 1," according to Thursday a news release from the ACLU.

"RFRA, a law that passed the Indiana legislature 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 release states.

The lawsuit argues that although some religions believe that human life begins at conception, that opinion isn't shared by all religions or religious people.

The plaintiffs represent faiths including Judaism, Islam and "independent spiritual beliefs", according to the release.

“Indiana’s RFRA law protects religious freedom for all Hoosiers, not just those who practice Christianity,” said Ken Falk, ACLU of Indiana Legal Director in a statement. “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.”

A full copy of the lawsuit is available here.