S4, Ep. 04: A religious freedom right to an abortion?

Amanda and Holly look at the role of religion in current abortion debates and discuss what constitutes a religious liberty claim.

Oct 27, 2022

Debates about access to abortion are often intertwined with religion, and the conversation is changing in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade and the federal constitutional right to an abortion. Amanda and Holly review some of the public and academic commentaries on  the intersection of abortion and religion, and they look at religious liberty arguments being made for abortion access and what it takes to make a religious liberty claim. 

Segment 1: What was the driving force behind the
Dobbs decision? (starting at 00:55)             

Amanda and Holly mentioned this piece in The New York Times by Linda Greenhouse: Religious Doctrine, Not the Constitution, Drove the Dobbs Decision

Amanda and Holly discussed the leaked Dobbs draft in episode 16 of season 3.


Segment 2: The role of religion in current abortion debates (starting at 12:46)

Amanda and Holly discussed this article by Samira Mehta for Religion News Service: There is no one ‘religious view’ on abortion: A scholar of religion, gender and sexuality explains

Amanda and Holly mentioned this article by Ana Marie Cox in Texas MonthlyBefore Roe, Faith Leaders Helped Texans Get Illegal Abortions. What Will They Do Now?

Click here for a resource from the New York Times on the different laws in states across the country regarding abortion.

Amanda and Holly mentioned two articles written by Kelsey Dallas for Deseret News:


Segment 3: Establishment Clause claims regarding abortion (starting at 31:32)

Amanda and Holly mentioned this piece by Elizabeth Dias for The New York Times: Inside the Extreme Effort to Punish Women for Abortion and her appearance on The Daily podcast episode titled The Effort to Punish Women for Having Abortions

Respecting Religion is made possible by BJC’s generous donors. You can support these conversations with a gift to BJC

Transcript: Season 4, Episode 4: A religious freedom right to an abortion?  (some parts of this transcript have been edited for clarity):

Segment 1:  What was the driving force behind the Dobbs decision?  (starting at 00:55)

 AMANDA:  Welcome to Respecting Religion, a BJC podcast series where we look at religion, the law, and what’s at stake for faith freedom today. I’m Amanda Tyler, executive director of BJC.

HOLLY:  And I’m general counsel Holly Hollman. Today we’ll discuss the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the decision from last term that overruled Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, and did away with the federal constitutional right to abortion.

The focus of our conversation will be how the Dobbs decision implicates religion and religious freedom in a post-Roe world.

AMANDA:  Well, Holly, there is no doubt that there has been a lot written and talked about Dobbs and what it means for women’s health, equality and freedom since the Court handed down the decision in June and really since the draft decision was leaked in early May.

HOLLY:  Right.

AMANDA:  So since that time, you know, we’ve been reading articles and analyses, and we’ve listened to podcasts with experts over the past few months. But today we want to focus our conversation and how we are thinking about the current landscape through our lens at Respecting Religion.

HOLLY: Even as we were evaluating last term’s significant religious liberty decisions about the constitutionality of government funding of religious schools and the boundaries for prayer in public schools, so many people were asking us about Dobbs and saying, you know, what do you think about that, and what are the religious liberty implications. I mean, that’s just a fact that that was being talked about in all of our circles.

And, you know, it’s clear that the ruling stoked a lot of conversations about religion, religion and public policy, and understandings about religious liberty. So I think that our listeners at Respecting Religion, as well as BJC supporters, welcome this conversation. They also appreciate that there are many other outlets and experts on different aspects of this ruling.

Neither of us specialize in health care law or reproductive law specifically, though the topic of abortion often comes up when people think about religion and law, so it’s not uncommon for us to have questions about it. And, of course, we know that religious liberty cases span a broad range of topics. It’s not uncommon to see religious liberty cases that involve such topics as human sexuality, reproduction, and gender.

For a lot of reasons far beyond the scope of our discussion here, the Dobbs decision really demands attention, but I’m happy to have this conversation with you, Amanda, to sort of work our way through it in a way, as you say, that’s appropriate for our conversations and our audience.

You know, for me, the first thing I want to just acknowledge is that this is difficult. It’s a difficult topic.

The decision in Dobbs and the issues generally about access to abortion, access to contraceptives, and health care for women all have profound importance, including what many would say is religious importance, you know, to women — I’d say women especially, but women and others, across the theological and political spectrum.

AMANDA:  I think it’s really important, Holly, that we acknowledge at the outset how personal of a topic this is, how – as we were preparing to have this conversation – how painful a topic this can be, and that it has real, lasting and potentially devastating impacts on people’s lives.

For me, the realization that a right that I have had as a woman my entire life – I was born five years after Roe – that right, whether I’ve needed to exercise that right or not, is gone with the decision by five non-elected justices, and that realization is devastating on its own for me. We recognize that people have deep and strongly held opinions on all sides of this decision and this issue, and our goal at Respecting Religion is to approach this difficult conversation respectfully and give it the time and treatment it deserves.

Important to our respectful conversation is to point out that religion and religious liberty are not the same thing. The challenges in defining these terms add complexity to any discussion about abortion and religious liberty. Put another way: just because someone has a religious belief, whether that be a belief about protecting an unborn child or a belief about protecting women and their reproductive decisions, that belief alone does not mean that they will have the basis for a successful religious liberty claim.

HOLLY:  Yes. And we know that abortion is often intertwined with religion and religious thinking. So, I think we want to first begin with some commentary on how religion may have influenced the Dobbs decision in particular and how religion is continuing to influence developments about access to abortion.

And then we can outline the religious liberty arguments some are making for abortion access, both as a matter of free exercise of religion and no establishment of religion by the government.

AMANDA:  So starting first with the Dobbs decision itself, I think it’s important to note that Justice Alito in writing his majority opinion not only doesn’t reference religion or religious belief, but he studiously avoids referencing religion. But that wasn’t far from many people’s minds.

The decision itself was decided on the basis of repudiating the reasoning of Roe, an opinion that the majority termed as, quote, “egregiously wrong” in finding a constitutional right for what the majority called abortion as a, quote, “a profound moral issue.” So the majority used the word “moral” in place of, I think, what many would think of as a religious point of view.

HOLLY:  Well, we know that many briefs were filed on both sides of the case that probably brought some – that were at least filed by religious actors – and so, you know, it’s part of the background, although, of course, was not the main basis of the arguments.

And while the word “religion” isn’t in the decision explicitly – and we know the word “religion” is explicitly in the First Amendment, so cases dealing more clearly with religious rights, you know, would have the word “religion” in them – we recall how it came up at oral arguments, as the attorney for the state of Mississippi asserted the state’s interest in its law, the law that was being challenged because it severely limited abortion.

There was a short colloquy where Justice Sotomayor asked plainly, “How is your interest anything but a religious view? The issue of when life begins has been hotly debated by philosophers since the beginning of time? It’s still debated in religions,” she said.

And I remember we took note of that, Amanda, as we were listening to the arguments, because it gets to this very difficult issue. When life begins is not an issue to be taken for granted. It’s contested. It’s one of the reasons that this is such a difficult issue to discuss, and it can affect opinions about the use of contraceptives, which, of course, is important to those of us who want most of all to avoid unwanted pregnancies and the need for abortion.

And it’s not, of course, the only question. When life begins is not the only moral, ethical, or religious issue.

AMANDA:  It’s not. And yet in Justice Alito’s opinion, he both begins and ends his opinion by pointing out the profound moral issue. So, that topic was very much the proverbial elephant in the room, both at the argument and in the opinion itself. And then we saw that feeling of religion driving this case being reflected in a number of articles, including in one that caught both of our attention, Holly, from July, written by Linda Greenhouse who is the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the Supreme Court for The New York Times.

She wrote a piece titled – provocatively – “Religious Doctrine, Not the Constitution, Drove the Dobbs Decision.” So she wasn’t buying this moral issue statement that Justice Alito was making in his opinion.

HOLLY:  Yeah. That was a striking piece. I remember exactly how it started, that she tracks all the Supreme Court opinions and has written about them for so many years, and she has her different topics which makes sense to any good lawyer. We’ve got our segmented way of thinking about the cases, and abortion would be a category of cases.

And as she looked at this case, she said it didn’t fit there. It fit in religion, of course, religion also being a category of cases, the cases that we most closely follow. And I think her commentary, you know, fit in with a lot of the critique of the Court and the questions about the Court’s legitimacy, and that’s because the Dobbs decision did just overrule Roe and Casey, Casey being a decision where the Court had thoroughly discussed Roe.

So issues of the Court’s change in personnel, the way it treated past law, and the way it engaged or didn’t engage with certain arguments have been part of this discussion about the Court’s legitimacy, and I think those who question it then might say, okay, then what is driving the Court’s decision. And so journalist Linda Greenhouse puts out there what she thinks it is.

AMANDA:  And in our system, Holly, where we value religious freedom, we expect our governmental institutions to be free of religious bias, that they are ruling based on the Constitution and not on their own religious views. And so for those who view this decision as being primarily driven by a religious perspective, it’s extremely troubling —

HOLLY:  It is troubling.

AMANDA:  — for religious freedom. We know that that is a debated point, right? That not everyone views this case as being primarily driven by religion. But regardless of what did lead to this decision, we want to spend the rest of our time here today, Holly, talking about what does this post-Roe world look like. Now that we have the Dobbs decision, we no longer have Roe v. Wade and the protections that – and the rights that it conferred for the last 50 years – what now is the role of religion in the ongoing debates as the issues shift to other legal avenues and primarily to legislation and the legal challenges at the state level.

HOLLY: Things are changing very rapidly, and to keep up, you’d really have to look at some of these resources that provide state by state analysis of, you know, current law, and many of these are changing. I think what we want to do is look at how religion is playing into those debates, what’s happening in the states, and then we’ll talk more explicitly about what claims of religious freedom in the abortion context look like.


Segment 2:  The role of religion in current abortion debates  (starting at 12:46)

AMANDA:  So what is the role of religion in abortion debates post-Roe? You know, first, this should not be surprising that there is a wide diversity of religious views on all kinds of things, including on abortion. I think that one thing that we will see in a post-Roe world is more religious voices and more varied religious voices and positions on this contentious and deeply personal issue.

There is not one religious position on abortion. I don’t think that can be emphasized strongly enough, because sometimes we see in popular conversation around this issue “religion” versus “women’s rights.” That’s reductive. That’s not accurate. And so we think it’s important to underscore that point.

There’s an excellent article that we can recommend from Religion News Service, an opinion piece written by Samira Mehta, a scholar of gender and religion, and it’s a very thoughtful piece that includes a variety of religious views on abortion.

First she talks about the tremendous interfaith diversity on the issue of abortion, and she’s talking not only about Christian and Jewish and Muslim beliefs, but also Hindu and Buddhist beliefs. She talks about the concept of ensoulment and how different religious traditions approach that question. And I think it’s an extremely educational article on religious literacy from that basis alone.

HOLLY:  I agree, Amanda. There are going to be more conversations in general. Right? People are going to be concerned about how the Dobbs decision affects their own medical care, and I think that we have to talk more about this, I guess, among each other and with our lawmakers and with our families. And I think that will lead to people exploring what role religion has.

And so I think that, to the extent that people really want to understand that and have more productive conversations, this article is really helpful, just to make sure that you can enter a conversation with someone and all the religious thinking that someone might bring to the conversation and kind of have an understanding of that.

AMANDA: And I think you’re right, Holly. When people –  when individuals bring their advocacy to the public square, we can see that tremendous diversity, not just between different faiths, but even within the same faith tradition.

For Catholics, for instance, I think it’s pretty well documented what the Catholic position on abortion and when life begins is, and that is the position of the Catholic Church. But it may surprise some people to learn, as in this article, that 56% of U.S. Catholics believe abortion should be legal in all or most circumstances, whether or not they believe that they would ever seek one.

And so pointing out the difference between the official church position and the position of the people in the pews or those who claim a Catholic identity also adds complexity and nuance to the conversation.

HOLLY:  Well, and we bring that up because it’s not helpful in conversation when people just, say, shut down religion. Obviously some people are angry, you know, angry about this decision and maybe angry about religious voices that they feel like are interfering with their private choices. And so I think it can only help our getting along with our neighbors, having more productive conversations, to have a better informed conversation about the different perspectives that people bring to it.

AMANDA: And, you know, even within the Christian tradition, of course, there’s enormous diversity among Christians. We have Catholics and Protestants, but even among Protestant traditions, we have so many different denominations and perspectives on things. Even within the Baptist tradition, Holly, we have enormous diversity.

And there’s another great article that recently came out from Texas Monthly that talks about a new movement in Texas called Just Congregations, and these are mostly Protestant congregations, although there are other religious views represented, who are taking a more public position on reproductive justice and rights issues.

I think it’s useful that even in Texas, that has very extreme abortion bans right now, that those policies are often justified or supported by some religious advocates, that we also have strong religious advocates who are showing a different Christian witness in the public square. So we’ll include that link as well in show notes.

HOLLY:  And we also recognize that denominational statements on abortion change over time, and so that’s another reason that individual Christians’ experience and views and thinking on these issues might not line up explicitly within what people think a denomination says or what their principles are, because sometimes that’s changing.

AMANDA:  Yeah. I think a notable example is the position of the Southern Baptist Convention, a convention, again, that has, I think, made a move in recent years and decades to have more explicit policy positions on things that claim to speak for the entire denomination maybe than had in earlier parts of their history.

HOLLY:  It’s not the way that we experienced it growing up, but that’s the way it is now.

AMANDA:  And as a convention, certainly celebrated the Dobbs decision, and so people might be surprised to know that this same convention celebrated the Roe decision in 1973, that there was an analysis piece written by then Washington bureau chief Barry Garrett for Baptist Press that declared about Roe that the Court had, quote, “advanced the cause of religious liberty, human equality and justice.”

So within 50 years, the convention’s position, again speaking for the convention, not for every single Southern Baptist, did a 180 in that time. So I think it can be tempting, easy to say, Catholics believe X; Southern Baptists believe Y; Unitarians believe Z. And there’s more nuance to all of these positions for each individual religious person.

HOLLY:  And I think the interplay between religious views and political views is also very complicated. So where are we now? Religion is clearly relevant to this conversation, and the American landscape of religion is complex, as well as the American landscape of religious liberty.

So now we want to talk a little bit about where we are in that legal landscape. I mentioned before that once the Dobbs decision did away with the right to abortion, then the question about whether or not women have access to abortion will depend on the state laws. And so there was an immediate reaction to Dobbs in that it activated some trigger laws which then outlawed abortion in the states. There was a move to pass more laws, and of course, I’m just stating this very generally. You can find out all of this from other sources. Each state is addressing this issue, and you need to check the laws of any particular state to find out the status of abortion access.

But we’re seeing a couple of things. We’re seeing states work to either protect access to abortion or sort of doubling down to prevent abortion now that Roe has been overturned. So this change in the legal landscape then means that those who are looking to defend access to abortion or to provide  make sure that they have access to abortion are looking at all the different arguments they can make.

Sometimes that right will be found in a state constitution or a state law. There could be new referendums that states are looking at to protect abortion rights or to limit them. And one argument that people are making is that they have a religious liberty right to access abortion. And so we want to talk about that for a few minutes.

Listeners know that our religious liberty rights under the Constitution come out of the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” And as I mentioned earlier, we have seen religious liberty arguments and abortion through the years, but I think we’re going to see them more explicitly now, and so it’s a time that we have to look at them more closely. And I think that’s what courts will be doing.

AMANDA:  And here we do want to commend a couple of articles written by Kelsey Dallas of Deseret News who has been doing a great job covering this issue, as she wrote a piece about Free Exercise claims and then also a piece about No Establishment concerns when it comes to abortion bans and other restrictions on abortion access.

One thing that may be surprising to people is that this idea of a Free Exercise claim for abortion access is not new. In fact, we knew that this was a possibility way back before RFRA, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, was passed in 1993. And this might surprise some people, Holly, but the Catholic Conference originally opposed the passage of RFRA because of concerns that some might use that legislative vehicle to claim an exemption from an abortion ban and then push for abortion access.

HOLLY:  Yeah. I think we should frame it this way: What is a religious claim to abortion? I think there are a few ways to look at this broadly speaking.

Number one, in some religious traditions, abortion is outlined as compelled in certain circumstances, particularly in the life of the mother, and that is definitely something that’s true in some Jewish traditions, and I’ve long heard that and known that as part of religious liberty debates.

Secondly, religion is a strong motivation for people in making decisions about their reproductive life, about abortion access, and that makes sense, given that these are decisions about the size of their family, how they could take care of their children. So there’s that claim of access to abortion because you have that religious motivation.

And then others would argue that it’s so personal and private that it’s in sort of this realm of conscience that the state has no interest in involving itself. So these ideas that would form the basis of a religious liberty claim for abortion were debated in the early ’90s as Congress was acting to advance a federal statute to protect religious freedom. This was a big part of the debate.

And at the time, Roe v. Wade, of course, was the law of the land, so for these to even get attention, people had to think, okay, well, first of all, there would have to not be a constitutional right to abortion. Then it would mean that someone would make these claims for abortion and that somehow the federal statute could be used to advance abortion. And that, of course, was against the Catholic Conference’s advocacy to stop all abortions.

AMANDA: And in the early 1990s, you had to go through a lot of steps to get there. You don’t have to go through all those steps in a post-Roe world. And so now we are seeing a movement with some of these new abortion bans to say that the protections of RFRA wouldn’t apply. We’ve seen bills in Oklahoma, for instance, that would have a carve-out that says that RFRA claims would not apply to the abortion ban. So that movement shows that there is some sense of concern about viability of these claims for religious exemption.

HOLLY:  So as the fight for access to abortion moves to the states, we will see lots of different arguments being made, including these Free Exercise arguments that we’ve just noted have been around a long time, but now they’ll have more urgency, and I think there’ll be more attention given to them, arguments about abortion being compelled in certain circumstances, or the religious motivations for women who are seeking abortions, which brings us to the question of:  What is a Free Exercise claim?

It generally is a claim to exercise one’s religion that is being prevented or regulated by some kind of government act that burdens that religious exercise. And whether or not the state can do that, whether they can burden that religious practice or that activity, that action that is motivated by religion really depends on what law is being applied and what the standards are. And that means state constitutional law, state statutory law, in some cases, state religious freedom laws.

And in those articles, Amanda, that you mentioned, Kelsey Dallas asked, you know, What is the likelihood that these claims could be successful before this Court.

AMANDA:  And the short answer is the legal experts are not overly optimistic about the success of these arguments, even when you have that very strong protection for free exercise with the RFRA standard that you just went through, Holly, because it is interesting to me that in most of the states, many of the states that have the most restrictions on abortion, many of them also have state RFRAs, so they would have this strong statutory protection for religious rights.

Doug Laycock, who is one of the leading scholars on religious liberty law, told Kelsey Dallas that he was not optimistic about these religious claims for abortion access. he said it is not enough that your religion permits abortion. It has to be the reason or at least one main reason for the abortion. And he said he didn’t know of any religion that teaches that as a general matter.

He also did a reality check on this Supreme Court. You know, you might win in a lower court, but if it gets all the way up to the Supreme Court, his statement was that they, these justices, care about abortion a lot more than they care about religious liberty for religious views they disagree with. That’s the realist answer, he said.

So, you know, I think that it’s important not to – you know, you can bring a claim, but we aren’t seeing, when we look at this Court, even a court that has been very expansive in their views of religious Free Exercise claims, that when it comes into conflict with abortion laws, we don’t sense a real high likelihood of success.

HOLLY:  Well, speaking of this Court, too, I think they’ve been open to religious claims that, of course, are not so clearly articulated or compelled by a religious tradition but that motivate people for their actions that come into conflict with the law. So I think Professor Laycock’s view makes sense, but I also think it’s worth considering whether that view is exactly in keeping with some of what the court has done. In some cases, this Court has appeared very deferential to claims of sincere beliefs and substantial burdens, and that’s with regard to things like how wedding vendors sell goods and services in the commercial marketplace or how social service providers comply with government contracts.  

So, I think it’s a murky issue, and interesting, though, to look ahead and think what this Court would do. I think the easiest way to think about it is just that a Court that just took this bold move of overturning Roe v. Wade after all these years is probably not going to turn around and immediately find a religious liberty right to the same issue.

The standard that I was talking about in the state RFRA context is one that asks whether there is a substantial burden on religion and then weighs that against the state’s asserted compelling interest and whether that state interest has been narrowly tailored to achieve the state’s interest. Okay, so, while this court is likely to find that protecting unborn life is a compelling interest, the analysis and outcome should depend on the precise facts of the case and the particular claim being made and proper application of the relevant state legal provision. 

AMANDA:  And it should be noted, of course, that we are in the very early, early stages of the post-Roe world, and so we are offering this commentary and our thinking right now as we look out at the landscape.

HOLLY:  That’s right. There’s a lot to develop here.


Segment 3:  Establishment Clause claims regarding abortion  (starting at 31:32)

AMANDA:  We also have to think not only about Free Exercise claims but also No Establishment claims that might be advanced to challenge abortion bans. Just the basic principle of No Establishment is that we, under the U.S. Constitution, protect religious freedom by the government staying neutral when it comes to religion, neither advancing nor inhibiting religion.

And now that we are seeing more religious arguments being used in policy debates and lawmaking, the question is, Where does that cross the line into prohibited religious lawmaking or a theocracy – that the idea that we do not compel religion, including we don’t pass religious-based laws.

And Kelsey Dallas again had an article on this issue. I was quoted, along with Professor Laycock, and, I do tend to think that there is still a line of not passing religious-based laws, but also acknowledge that determining these claims is going to be much more difficult in the post-Kennedy v. Bremerton world, which did away with the Lemon test. One of the claims of the Lemon test was that a law would not pass constitutional muster if it did not have a secular purpose. We don’t have that test anymore, so then the question is, How would these laws be evaluated?

HOLLY:  Well, we’ve seen a lot of changes in the Establishment Clause jurisprudence, and so that’s a huge question about what the federal government or the state can’t do in the area of religion. I think that’s what Justice Sotomayor’s question was getting to, is that we can’t pass religious laws. If you’re just making a religious argument, there’s this assumption that the government doesn’t do that under the Establishment Clause.

But as you note, Amanda, those standards are up in the air now. We’re at a time, we’re in the middle of transition on what are the standards for No Establishment under the Constitution.

AMANDA:  Well, one really extreme example, Holly, I think of some of the laws that we are starting to see in the post-Roe world in the wake of Dobbs was covered by Elizabeth Dias for The New York Times, first in a long article which we will link in show notes, and then also in an episode of The New York Times Daily podcast where she talked about her reporting on this issue.

And her reporting covered something that’s called the Abortion Abolition Movement.

This is a movement that would criminalize abortion from conception as homicide and hold women who have the procedure responsible, a position that in some states could make those women eligible for the death penalty.

HOLLY:  That podcast was so interesting to me. I really appreciate how she noted at the beginning that what’s known as the anti-abortion and pro-life movement is not a monolith, and we’re going to see that more so now. Of course, we knew that. We know that, as this conversation has reflected, you know, it’s a very complicated issue and lots of different perspectives.

But she was pointing out that now we’re more likely to understand and see the extreme parts of that movement, that they are sort of gaining in their clarity and their movement, you know, because they can now – because abortion is not a constitutionally protected right.

One thing that’s really interesting about this article and the interview that The Daily did with the reporter is she asked, Who’s behind this movement? Who’s behind this kind of extreme view that women should be prosecuted for murder about their decisions? And she spotlights this guy named Jeff Durbin, I think he’s in Phoenix, and he’s behind the movement for these laws.

He’s a former martial arts champ who then became a drug addict and fortunately was able to get out of drugs and gives God the glory for that, that he turned his life over to Christ, which is always an inspiring story – right?  to see someone come out of such devastation.

But then he used that to start this church and seems like he was mostly motivated by this anti-abortion belief.

You know, it reminded me how diverse religion is and how most people that I know of that try to lead a Christian life have to struggle, struggle with the Bible and all that it says, struggle with what it means to be a follower of Jesus and all of the mystery about the Holy Spirit and God and how all that works in the world over time, through the centuries in different contexts.

And it also made me think how glad I am to live in America and to have a strong First Amendment where we don’t have a government that is given religious authority over us.

AMANDA:  Right. And religious freedom allows Jeff Durbin to have his church and have people freely go to his church. Religious freedom also means that we don’t all have to live in Jeff Durbin’s America. And the fact that he is pushing these particular laws, not just in his state but in states across the country, is frightening, Holly, and we don’t have the same legal protections from the Supreme Court to fight laws and efforts like this going forward. That’s concerning.

HOLLY:  It is concerning, and the one bright light I can find from this article – 

AMANDA:  Tell me. Tell me, Holly.

HOLLY:  — is that maybe it will force more people into honest conversations about what we believe about this very difficult issue and who is responsible for making those decisions.

AMANDA:  That brings us to the close of this episode of Respecting Religion.

HOLLY:  Thanks for joining us for today’s conversation. For details on what we discussed, including links to the articles we mentioned, check out the show notes.

AMANDA:  If you appreciated today’s conversation, share this program with others on social media and tag us. We’re on Twitter and Instagram @BJContheHill, and you can follow me on Twitter @AmandaTylerBJC. Plus you can email both of us by writing to [email protected], and you can see a full list of shows on our website at BJConline.org/RespectingReligion.

HOLLY:  And take a moment to find out more about BJC and how we’ve been working for faith freedom for all since 1936. Visit our website for a look at what we do and some of our latest projects

AMANDA:  Join us back here on Thursdays for new conversations Respecting Religion.