- A Florida law that goes into effect on July 1 will ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
- A synagogue in Palm Beach County is suing the state for violating religious freedoms.
- Under Jewish law, abortion is sometimes required, including to protect the mother, the lawsuit says.
A Florida synagogue is suing the state over a new law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy because it violates their religious freedom and violates the Jewish faith.
The lawsuit was filed last week by the L’Dor Va-Dor Congregation of Boynton Beach, located in Palm Beach County. Under Jewish law, abortion is “when necessary to protect a woman’s health, mental or physical well-being” and for other reasons that would not be allowed under the bill, the lawsuit said.
Florida previously allowed abortions up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, but Governor Ron DeSantis signed the 15-week abortion ban in April and it will go into effect July 1. The bill allows abortion to save the life of the pregnant person or to avoid serious injury.
“The law prohibits Jewish women from practicing their faith without government intervention and this violates their privacy rights and religious freedom,” the lawsuit said, adding: “Imposing parenthood on women against their will harms women, their families, our society and the religious freedom of those who do not share the views reflected in the law.”
The lawsuit is the second challenge to Florida law, with Planned Parenthood and other reproductive health care providers filing a lawsuit against the state on June 1.
The bill is one of the most recent abortion bans enacted recently in red states. While Roe v. Wade anchored the constitutional right to abortion until fetal viability, about 24 weeks, a draft Supreme Court opinion leaked last month indicated that the landmark ruling could soon be overturned.
Many Jewish communities reacted negatively to the news, expressing concerns it could violate their religious freedoms, Insider’s Katie Balevic and Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert previously reported.
“We are proud that the Jewish tradition considers abortion an essential health care, which not only allows for termination of pregnancy, but even requires it when the life of the pregnant person is in danger,” Rabbi Hera Person said in a statement following the leak.
“Restricting access to reproductive health care hinders the freedom of religion granted by the First Amendment, including a Jew’s ability to make decisions in accordance with their religious beliefs,” he added.