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BOYNTON BEACH, FL ( (Copyright © 2022 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — Boynton Beach Synagogue “Congregation L’Dor Va Dor” is suing the State of Florida, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and several State departments and agencies over the Florida Legislature’s passage of House Bill 5 which criminalizes pre-viability abortions. The suit alleges that Florida’s abortion legislation violates religious rights. It specifically states that Jewish law permits abortion, and that Florida doesn’t have the right to deny women that right.

From the suit filed in Tallahassee’s Leon County Circuit Court:

“HB 5 also violates Article 1, Section 3 of the Florida Constitution which provides”There shall be no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting or penalizing the free expression thereof.” The Florida Constitution thus goes beyond the United States Constitution in its protection of religious freedom in that it adds that the free exercise of religion may not be penalized. Plaintiff and its members, congregants and supporters rely on Jewish law and understanding regarding abortion, which differs from the requirements of the Act, and thus, if the members, congregants and supporters of Plaintiff practice their religion regarding decisions related to abortion, they will be penalized by the state in violation of the Constitution.

The lawsuit also states the following:

Forcing parenthood upon women against their will harms women, their families, our society and the religious freedom of those who do not share the views reflected in the Act. By denying women their dignity, autonomy, religious freedom and their fundamental rights, the Act denigrates women, threatens the integrity of families and reverts back to a time in our nation’s history when women were denied the right to vote, to enter into a contract and to enjoy equal rights under the law. Thus, the Act takes us backwards to a time of less rights for women, rather than forwards in pursuit of full equality of opportunity and rights under the law.

If injunctive relief is not granted, the Act will deny Plaintiff and other Floridians their fundamental constitutional rights and will cause Plaintiff, its members, congregants, supporters and their families irreparable harm for which there is no adequate remedy at law. In order to infringe upon the religious freedom and privacy rights of Plaintiff and all other women in Florida and their families, the State must show a compelling state interest in support of the Act and the least intrusive manner to achieve this goal. No compelling state interest exists nor even a rational basis is offered to support the Act and its methodology is overly broad and vague.”

The suit seeks a temporary and permanent injunction restraining the enforcement, operation, and/or execution of House Bill 5 by “enjoining Defendants, their officers, agents, servants, employees, appointees, or successors, as well as those in active concert or participation with any of them from enforcing, threatening to enforce, or otherwise applying the provisions of the Act in Florida due to its violation of the rights of Plaintiff, its members, congregants, supporters, families, and all other people in Florida as provided in the Florida Constitution.”

Read the complete suit, below.



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