Forcing births infringes free exercise of religion

Those who advocate criminalizing abortion insist that doctors who perform abortions are “killing babies” because a fetus in the womb is a “person” who has a right to life, and terminating a pregnancy is murdering a life. Abortion on demand, they say, is the sign of sinful sexually permissive behavior. And in the case of rape or incest, they argue that “one wrong should not be compounded by another wrong,” meaning abortion.

When I ask friends how they concluded that a fetus is a living person, they often refer to religious dogma. Some say it is based upon scientific facts and moral principles. However, many scientists, ethicists and legal scholars disagree as to “when personhood begins.” Ultimately, my anti-abortion friends acknowledge that it is their religious conviction that life begins upon conception.

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