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Church State Issues

Using government to force religious beliefs on us????

Jul 3, 2013

Arizona Republic

In this article it sure sounds like the the Scottsdale-based Christian legal organization "Alliance Defending Freedom" is attempting to use the government to force their religious beliefs on the rest of us using the force of the government.

3 seeking to defend ban on abortions

By Alia Beard Rau The Republic | Tue Jul 2, 2013 9:45 PM

A Republican state lawmaker, a national Christian minority organization and Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery want to join in the defense of a state law restricting abortions.

Civil-rights groups in May filed a lawsuit challenging a 2011 law that makes it a felony to perform an abortion if the provider knows it is sought based on the fetus’ sex or race, or a woman is being coerced to have an abortion based on the fetus’ sex or race.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Maricopa County branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum. According to court documents, it alleges the law is an “attack on the dignity” of African-American, Asian and Pacific Islander women.

“Based on nothing more than invidious racial stereotypes about the reasons minority women seek abortion care, the Act intentionally singles out Black and API women and stigmatizes their abortion decisions,” the lawsuit states. “The Act is premised on the sponsors’ beliefs that Black and API women are deliberately using abortion to destroy their own communities.”

The plaintiffs have asked the court to stop the law from being enforced while the lawsuit moves forward. No hearings have been scheduled.

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne is the defendant in the case. Montgomery, Rep. Steve Montenegro, R-Litchfield Park, and the Frederick Douglass Foundation have filed a request with the federal courts to join Horne in defending the law.

The Scottsdale-based Christian legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom is representing Montgomery and the Frederick Douglass Foundation.

“(The law’s) prohibition on race discrimination in abortion will dissuade abortionists from targeting majority African-American communities, decreasing their numbers and limiting the voice of African-Americans in public affairs,” the court document states.

Montenegro was the law’s primary sponsor as it moved through the Legislature. The bill passed with mostly Republican support, although Rep. Albert Hale, D-St. Michaels, and Rep. Catherine Miranda, D-Phoenix, also voted for it.

Montenegro said he hopes to join the lawsuit so he can explain the true intent of the law.

“It’s twisted, the way the ACLU is presenting the lawsuit. The plaintiffs say we are trying to target certain ethnicities of women,” he said. “On the contrary, we are trying to prevent discrimination against any ethnicity.”

The intent, Montenegro said, is to protect minority fetuses.

“No one should be discriminated against by being subjected to an abortion because they are going to be born the ‘wrong’ gender or the ‘wrong’ race,” he said.

He called the lawsuit an attack on the integrity of the bipartisan group of lawmakers that passed the law.

During public hearings on the bill, he said, opponents argued that abortions based on race or sex weren’t happening in Arizona. “Now they’re arguing that they should be allowed to do it,” he said.

The Arizona law is the only state law in the nation that bans race-based abortions, according to the New York-based Guttmacher Institute, which tracks abortion laws. Five other states — Illinois, Pennsylvania, North Dakota, Kansas and Oklahoma — ban sex-based abortions.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.