Religious Liberty  Oppose attacks on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act  ERLC Actions  Policy Statement  Abortion

ERLC urges U.S. Senate to Oppose Right to Contraception Act

born alive act

POLICY STATEMENT: Nashville, Tenn. —The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is urging the Senate to oppose the Right to Contraception Act in its upcoming floor vote due to the implications it poses for both the protection of preborn life and existing religious liberty safeguards.

This bill explicitly includes a “carveout” from the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The near-unanimous passage of RFRA in 1993 by Congress enshrined legislative protections for religious liberty into federal law and reinforced what Southern Baptists have long held to be a fundamental truth enshrined in the U.S. Constitution: freedom of religion necessitates the free expression of religious belief.

Additionally, the bill creates a “fundamental” right to contraception, preempts state laws restricting access to contraception, including abortive methods of contraception, and makes it possible for any abortifacient to be automatically protected if the regulatory agency classified it as a “contraceptive.”

Brent Leatherwood, president of the ERLC, comments on the Senate’s upcoming vote.

“Access to contraceptives is not, nor has ever been, a ‘fundamental’ civil right and is not ‘central’ to a person’s dignity. Instead of creating new mechanisms to undermine the religious liberty of employers, of government employees, and of individuals seeking to live out their deeply-held beliefs, I encourage our policymakers to pass legislation that protects life, serves mothers, and allows American citizens to continue to faithfully live out their beliefs.”

In July 2022, the ERLC opposed the House passage of the Right to Contraception Act.

The ERLC will continue to advocate legislation that seeks to protect the most vulnerable among us.

The Southern Baptist Convention is America’s largest Protestant denomination with more than 12.9 million members and a network of over 46,000 cooperating churches and congregations. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is the SBC’s ethics, religious liberty and public policy agency with offices in Nashville, Tenn., and Washington, D.C.

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