Judge Throws Out Religious Challenge to Missouri’s Abortion Laws

June 25, 2024

A lawsuit challenging Missouri’s pro-life laws was recently thrown out after a judge ruled the laws do not infringe on the freedom of religion. A coalition of more than a dozen Missouri religious leaders filed the lawsuit in 2023, alleging that Missouri’s near-total abortion ban violates their religious freedom by invoking God as the creator of human life.

The Missouri District Court for the 22nd Judicial Circuit ruled that references to “Almighty God” in the state’s abortion law were similar to references found in the Missouri Constitution. In addition, Judge Jason Sengheiser ruled that the statement that “life begins at conception” was “not only a religious belief”, but a “medical and scientific” fact.

In a statement to Catholic News Agency, MCC Executive Director, Jamie Morris said, “We are pleased that common sense prevailed and the lawsuit was dismissed. The statement ‘life begins at conception’ is a scientific reality, not a religious belief. As a broader point, many lawmakers rely on their faith in making all types of policy decisions, including those related to welfare, immigration, and the death penalty. Legislators should not be required to leave their faith at the Capitol door.”

To read more about the ruling from Catholic News Agency, please click here.