Missouri lawmakers intended to “impose their religious beliefs on everyone” in the state when they passed a restrictive abortion ban, lawyers for a group of religious leaders who support abortion rights said at a court hearing Thursday.
But attorneys for the state countered that just because some supporters of the law oppose abortion on religious grounds doesn’t mean that the law forces their beliefs on anyone else.
Thirteen Christian, Jewish and Unitarian Universalist leaders filed suit in January seeking a permanent injunction barring Missouri from enforcing its abortion law and a declaration that provisions violate the Missouri Constitution. Thursday’s hearing in St. Louis concerned the state’s request to dismiss the lawsuit. Judge Jason Sengheiser said he’ll likely rule in January.
The Missouri lawsuit is one of 38 filed in 23 states challenging restrictive abortion laws enacted after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. The landmark ruling left abortion rights up to each state to decide.
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