I’m really juiced by the recent Dobbs v. Jackson decision by SCOTUS.

I am a 70 year old male, so I have no direct skin in this game, yet I feel as though my rights have been trampled, along with the rights of my family members, my friends and my neighbors.

The First Amendment protects each U.S. resident – even me — from the whims, passions, and/or tyranny of a few.

It states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The recent decision in Dobbs v. Jackson[i], rendered by the U.S. Supreme Court on June 24, 2022, is an egregious example of horrible judicial judgment, likely resulting from an apparent violation of our First Amendment.

The census of 2020 reveals an America much different from 1787 when the U.S. Constitution was ratified, and when our enumerated U.S. population was >3 Million people residing in 13 states (colonies).

Today, we have fifty states hosting a population of >329 Million people.

Many Americans today seem to believe that our nation was established under a Christian doctrine—that we are a “Christian nation” and that we should operate accordingly.

Yet, it seems quite clear today that the founding fathers were prescient in their observation(s) about religion.

The collective wisdom of our founding fathers likely derives from their disparate – yet harmonious – spiritual beliefs. Some of our founding fathers — Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Madison, Monroe and others — practiced a faith called Deism, a philosophical belief that human reason is a reliable means of solving social and political problems. Deists generally believe in a supreme being who created the universe to operate by natural laws.  This belief in reason over dogma helped guide the founders toward a system of government that respected faiths like Christianity, while purposely isolating Church and State from encroaching on each other.

The evidence is abundant:  Our founders were adamant that a person’s faith should not be intruded upon by government, and that religious doctrine should not be written into governance. They had no intent to found our nation according to Christian doctrines, yet it seems quite clear that this exclusion was not intended to devalue the importance of the Christian religion itself.

Christianity – in many iterations — continues to thrive in America, as does Judaism, Islam, Hindu, Buddhism, and dozens of other religions. And, according to our 2020 Census, about 25% of Americans affiliate with no religion at all.

I’ve read and heard reports from some media sources that no honest religion could permit or encourage the termination of a pregnancy, leading me to believe that the continuing evolution of religious practice and belief in America may have been missed or ignored by some media sources.

A few media sources seem to assume that members of all religions endorse the views of a small minority of ultra-conservative Christians who are fixated on a theory that life begins at conception, rendering abortion akin to murder.  But this isn’t the consensus of all Christians, and very few Jewish or Muslim congregants share this belief. A majority of leaders within all three religions affirm the ethics of abortion in controlled and objective situations.

In fact, Jewish law requires abortion in some situations, most consistently in cases where a pregnancy endangers the life of the person carrying the embryo.

Dr. Thomas E. Dobbs III, the man whose name became synonymous with the Supreme Court decision to let states ban abortions, had virtually nothing to do with the landmark case.

Ironically, the case began in 2018 when the Jackson Women’s Health Organization filed a lawsuit against the State of Mississippi challenging a state law banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy[ii]. The original lawsuit named the Mississippi state health officer as a defendant, and at the time the lawsuit was filed, that health officer was Dr. Mary Currier.

When Dr. Currier retired in late 2018 after 34 years of service, she was replaced by Dr. Dobbs, who then became the Mississippi state health officer, and the individual in charge of regulating the only abortion clinic in Mississippi, Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

Dobbs himself has distanced himself from the case.  He is an infectious diseases physician, working at the intersection of public health and patient care, with specific expertise in HIV, tuberculosis and health equity.

Alliance Defending Freedom {ADF} [EIN 54-1660459] is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in Scottsdale, AZ which was instrumental in defending the Dobbs case, leading to the overturn of Roe V. Wade.  ADF primarily is a well-funded legal organization with annual revenues of $65 Million, and net assets of $42 Million, employing 319 individuals, 69 of whom earn in excess of $100,000.

  • According to a 2020 analysis from the Southern Poverty Law Center, the ADF was “Founded by some 30 leaders of the Christian Right (as) a legal advocacy and training group that has supported the recriminalization of sexual acts between consenting LGBTQ adults in the U.S. and criminalization abroad; has defended state-sanctioned sterilization of trans people abroad; has contended that LGBTQ people are more likely to engage in pedophilia; and claims that a “homosexual agenda” will destroy Christianity and society.”
  • Apparently, the ADF has now expanded its focus to help support several other ultra-conservative Christian positions.

Whenever people bring their personal religious beliefs or values into any public debate, they risk imposing illegal, unwanted or restrictive religious practices and beliefs on others who have been granted the Constitutional right to pursue their own — perhaps different — beliefs.

The great majority of published public opinions opposed to open unrestricted access to comprehensive reproductive health care over the past 4 decades — including both contraception and abortion — center on personal ethical, moral or religious issues, with the loudest voices opposing open access emanating from a small minority of predominantly college educated white evangelical Christians.

Facts confirm that restrictions imposed on open access to comprehensive reproductive health care services have disproportionate adverse economic impact — and direct deprivation of human rights — on:

  • Young women (<25 years of age);
  • Low-income women; and
  • Women of color.

These are socially and economically disadvantaged women, frequently members of a protected class.

The longitudinal negative social and economic impacts on women who are denied access to a voluntary abortion — and onto the children who are born as a result — are devastating. The spillover of these social and economic impacts into our larger society is chilling.

I’ve read the U.S. Constitution several times.  Each time, I have seen clear evidence that our Founders intended to follow the core foundations of our Declaration of Independence: Ensuring equal rights and equal treatment to all individuals regardless of their address or other socio-economic variables.

Somehow, the current Religious Right – enabled by this tax exempt entity known as Alliance Defending Freedom together with other undisclosed dark money sources — has bamboozled the U.S. Supreme Court, allowing a small but very vocal minority to impose their religious morality on the rights of all women residents in the U.S., depriving them of unfettered access to comprehensive reproductive health care, regardless of current residency; education; economic status; age; disability; religion; national origin; pregnancy; race/color; sex, sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

I believe – as a nation and as a society — we can and should do better.

The Judge Alito opinion in this case is flawed, and the consenting opinions of Justices Thomas, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Barrett must be recognized as religiously and politically tainted.

[ii] The fight against a woman’s right to choose continues to be highly political. The Gestational Age Act is a Mississippi law that purports to ‘protect unborn children, the health of pregnant mothers, and the integrity of the medical profession by protecting life after 15 weeks in gestational age’. The Act apparently was inspired by false prophets and funded by dark money contributions from Christian Nationalist sources.  The 15-week marker has no footing in scientific research, yet it tends to evoke a highly emotional response among skeptics. The highly regarded American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) continues to maintain its position that “Safe and legal abortion is a necessary component of woman’s healthcare; is one of the safest medical procedures, 14 times safer to the patient than undergoing childbirth.”

[i] The full name of the Supreme Court case overturning Roe v. Wade is “Thomas E. Dobbs, State Health Officer of the Mississippi Department of Health, et al., Petitioners v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, et al.