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Rokita to court: RFRA does not protect right to abortion

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Attorney General’s office has filed its response to a lawsuit filed by Hoosier Jews for Choice challenging the state’s near-total abortion ban.

The brief, filed Monday night in Marion County, urges the judge to deny an injunction blocking the abortion ban that originally took effect September 15th.

The lawsuit uses the state’s religious freedom law to challenge the abortion ban, claiming religions including Judaism and Islam allow abortions to take place.

“Rather than avoid unwanted medical treatment or duties imposed by law that would impinge their religious exercise, Plaintiffs use religious beliefs to demand medical intervention to end human life,” the state argues in its filing. “The state is aware of no case in America holding that a religious belief entitles someone to medical intervention of any kind, much less intervention that ends human life. Such a claim would also seem to extend, for example, to physician-assisted suicide.”

Indiana’s law, passed in August by special session of the General Assembly, prohibits all abortions with exceptions for rape, incest, fatal fetal anomalies or to protect the health and life of the mother.

The state has been blocked from enforcing the law by a judge in a second lawsuit filed in Monroe County.  The state has appealed that decision.

A hearing in the Marion County case is set for October 14.