ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A new Florida law prohibiting abortion after 15 weeks with some exceptions violates religious freedom rights of Jews in addition to the state constitution’s privacy protections, a synagogue claims in a lawsuit.
The lawsuit filed by the Congregation L’Dor Va-Dor of Boynton Beach contends the law that takes effect July 1 violates Jewish teachings, which state abortion “is required if necessary to protect the health, mental or physical well-being of the woman” and for other reasons.
“As such, the act prohibits Jewish women from practicing their faith free of government intrusion and this violates their privacy rights and religious freedom,” says the lawsuit, filed Friday in Leon County Circuit Court.
The lawsuit adds that people who “do not share the religious views reflected in the act will suffer” and that it “threatens the Jewish people by imposing the laws of other religions upon Jews.”
Rabbi warns of eroding the separation between religion and government
In Florida, Rabbi Barry Silver of Congregation L’Dor Va-Dor — the name means “Generation to Generation”— said it practices “cosmic Judaism,” which he defines on the synagogue’s website as “the Judaism of tomorrow today” that respects science, tradition and spirituality
“Every time that wall starts to crack, bad things start to happen,” he said, noting that DeSantis signed the law at an evangelical Christian church.
“This ruling would be outlawing abortion in cases when our religion would permit us,” said Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg, scholar in residence at the National Council of Jewish Women, “and it is basing its concepts of when life begins on someone else’s philosophy or theology.”