On July 14, 2022, the House Judiciary Committee convened a hearing entitled “What’s Next: The Threat to Individual Freedoms in a Post-Roe World.” Interim President and CEO of Interfaith Alliance, the Rev. Dr. Katharine Rhodes Henderson, offered written testimony emphasizing the profound threat to religious freedom posed by the Dobbs v. JWHO decision overturning Roe v. Wade.
“Decisions about whether and when to become a parent are intensely personal,” she wrote, “and people of many faiths and none access abortion care every year. Various religious traditions approach these matters differently and these beliefs may – or may not – inform a patient’s decision to end a pregnancy. The freedom to believe as we choose, and to exercise those beliefs without fear of criminalization, is a basic matter of religious freedom.”
Polling by the Public Religion Research Institute following the Dobbs decision found that two-thirds of Americans support access to abortion in all or most cases, including majorities of almost all major religious groups. The Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses of the First Amendment provide a framework for this diversity of perspective through the separation of religion and government. As Rev. Henderson notes, “our democratic tradition recognizes the harms of legislating based on an individual or group’s religious convictions. But this will soon become the reality for millions of pregnant people living in states where lawmakers impose their own views on abortion upon their constituents, whether they share those beliefs or not.”
Read her full testimony.
Interfaith Alliance champions an inclusive vision of religious freedom, protecting people of all faiths and none. Learn more.