Parliament of the World’s Religions condemns Roe v. Wade overturning

Parliament of the World’s Religions condemns Roe v. Wade overturning

The Parliament of the World’s Religions has issued a statement saying that the interfaith organisation is, “deeply disturbed by the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.” 

The Supreme Court decision, announced on 24 June, overturns Roe v. Wade, a 1973 Supreme Court decision that affirmed the constitutional right to an abortion. As a result, abortion will now be a matter for state legislators.

While conservative groups have welcomed the news as a victory for the rights of unborn children, the Parliament of the World’s Religions statement argues that the decision imposes religious beliefs on a pluralist, secular society.

“Among the world’s religions and also within individual traditions there are a wide range of views on when personhood begins and no general consensus exists,” the Parliament’s statement read.

“But the effect of Dobbs is the imposition by the government of the beliefs of some religious groups on members of other faiths, the unaffiliated, and those whose deep moral values are not rooted in religion, who do not share these beliefs. It thus directly affects those, especially women, who are no longer free to live in accord with their own traditional religious teachings and long-held moral values.”

“The imposition by the government of the moral values of some religions on others is in direct contravention to the fundamental values of the Parliament as well as freedom of religion and the separation of Church and State enshrined by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Our concerns were deepened by the Supreme Court’s decision of Kennedy v. Bremerton which further erodes the separation between Church and State.”

“As a multi-religious society and world, it is important that no religious tradition impose its moral or ethical values on others’ religious beliefs through the agency of the government. Such a fundamental principle assures that those who differ are free to practice the values of their own faith confident that, just as they may not impose their view on others, so the views of others will not be imposed on them.”

The next Parliament of the World’s Religions meeting takes place in Chicago from 14 to 18 August 2023. For more information, visit the official website.

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