On Thursday, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled to protect access to mifepristone, a safe and effective prescription drug that’s been used by nearly 6 million Americans in miscarriage care and for medication abortions, which now account for 63% of all abortions in the United States.

The case, Food and Drug Administration v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, had been brought by a small group of anti-abortion doctors in Texas who were represented by the Christian nationalist law firm Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). The Court found: “Under Article III of the Constitution, a plaintiff ’s desire to make a drug less available for others does not establish standing to sue.”

In response to the ruling, Alison Gill, our Vice President of Legal & Policy wrote, “We are relieved the Court has confirmed the rules of standing still apply, even to Christians, as we argued in an amicus brief we filed in January. Although this is a significant victory for reproductive rights, we must never allow the extremist religious beliefs of a few—no matter how powerful they are—to violate the rights and wellbeing of the many.”

By basing its decision on procedure rather than merit, the Court left the door ajar for anti-abortion groups to pursue other legal challenges. For instance, ADF’s takeaway was that, “The court recognized that our doctors would have standing to protect their conscience rights,” which allow medical providers to deny care based on their religious beliefs. And rather than being dismissed, the FDA case will return to the lower courts, where attorneys general for Kansas and Missouri have already promised to continue their litigation.

Meanwhile, more than 10,000 Southern Baptists gathered in Indianapolis this week for the annual convention of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination. With 13 million members, the church’s resolutions are considered an indicator of American evangelical sentiment. Delegates voted on Wednesday to oppose the use of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and affirm support for “frozen embryonic human beings”—a clear indication that “personhood” is the battlefield for the anti-abortion movement.

Religious objections to IVF aren’t new. The Catholic Church has opposed assisted reproductive technologies since at least 1987. But opposition has intensified since the Alabama Supreme Court granted cryopreserved, fertilized eggs the same rights, legal status, and privileges as post-womb human beings.

And Christian nationalists’ efforts to impose their religiopolitical beliefs on the rest of us will undoubtedly continue even as the overwhelming majority of Americans, across all religious and nonreligious groups, say IVF access is a good thing and medication abortion should be legal.

The religious extremists won’t stop. Unfortunately for them, American Atheists isn’t stopping either.

We’re going to keep standing in the way of Christian nationalists who want to insert their religion into our public schools. We’re going to continue showing up in courtrooms and legislatures to thwart their anti-democratic agenda. And, with your support, we will rebuild the wall between their church and our government.

In solidarity,

Nick Fish

American Atheists is a 501(c)(3) non-partisan, nonprofit educational organization that relies on the support of members like you. Contributions are tax-deductible. Our Federal Tax ID Number is 74-2466507 and our Combined Federal Campaign number is 52217.

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