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Suit Challenges Kentucky Abortion Bans As Violating Jewish Religious Beliefs


Suit was filed last Thursday in a Kentucky state trial court by three Jewish women who contend that Kentucky’s strict abortion bans violate their religious freedom rights. The complaint (full text) in Sobel v. Cameron, (KY Cir. Ct., filed 10/6/2022), alleges that Kentucky law might be read to make it a capital offense to discard excess embryos created in the process of in vitro fertilization. The complaint alleges in part:

35. Under Jewish law, a fetus does not become a human being or child until birth. Under no circumstances has Jewish law defined a human being or child as the moment that a human spermatozoon fuses with a human ovum.

36. The question of when life begins for a human being is a religious and philosophical question without universal beliefs across different religions….

39. Plaintiff’s religious beliefs demand that they have more children through IVF, yet the law forces Plaintiffs to spend exorbitant fees to keep their embryos frozen indefinitely or face potential felony charges. This dilemma forces Plaintiffs to abandon their sincere religious beliefs of having more children by limiting access to IVF and substantially burdens their right to freely exercise these sincerely held religious belief….

51. Kentucky’s contemporary Abortion Law is focused on preservation of ova and blastocysts on the basis of a religious understanding of fetal personhood…..

The complaint alleges that Kentucky abortion laws are void for vagueness and unintelligibility; violate the Kentucky Religious Freedom Restoration Act; and violate the Kentucky Constitution by giving preference to sectarian Christianity and diminishing Plaintiffs’ privileges, rights, and capacities on account of their Jewish faith and beliefs. Los Angeles Times reports on the lawsuit.


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