March 23, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 44°F


Editorial: Abortion rights must not be up for religious debate

Conservative republicans prefer less federal intervention and a small government because it gives them more power. When looking at this from the side of the abortion debate, it becomes evident that conservatives’ preference for less federal intervention would allow more social services through faith-based organizations. When the federal government does not provide social services, in this case for abortion clinics, it becomes up to clinics to form and regulate themselves. This allows religious-affiliated institutions to increase their anti-abortion centers — non-profit organizations called “crisis pregnancy centers” usually established to persuade women against having an abortion, even though CPC’s claim that their services help people make informed choices about their pregnancy options.

Less government intervention is not the only thing that allows religiously affiliated institutions to grow and regulate abortion in the ways they wish. Inadequately, religious institutions seem to find ways around the Constitution’s protection of free speech and practice of religion free from government intervention to justify getting government support. Churches ask for state money for property reimbursement — which comes from the people’s taxes — and receive it without this being considered a First Amendment violation. The basis for not considering it a violation is that state money is not being used for religious purposes. But does the church use that money to fix a building, or does it end up funding other religious projects? Almost $89 million dollars of tax money has been given to anti-abortion clinics across a dozen states in the 2022 fiscal year and it still is somehow justified by the law. 

Another way the federal government created free practice of anti-abortion clinics is by striking down the California FACT Act (Reproduction Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency Act) in the name of it being a violation of free speech. Striking down this law got rid of the requirements for licensed pregnancy centers, which required organizations to post information about affordable abortion and contraception services offered by the state and disclose the fact about being unlicensed medical clinics.          

This shows how religion and government are immensely involved in an individual’s life. However, things must change. Abortion must be considered a fundamental right and it should be up to neither the government nor the church to find loopholes around the law just to force anti-abortion views on people.   

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