National Atheist Party Responds to Mississippi Law Based Upon Religious Belief.
With a legislative change to their definition and restrictions for ambulatory surgical facilities, the only women's health clinic offering pregnancy termination in the state of Mississippi will be forced to close on January 6, 2012. The National Atheist Party condemns such actions in Mississippi and other states as egregious attempts to violate a woman's right of choice (upheld by Roe v. Wade - 410 U.S. 113 (1973)) and to surreptitiously insert religious morality into legislation.
Mississippi statute Section 41-75-1-a, passed and signed earlier this year, requires that, "All physicians associated with the abortion facility must have admitting privileges at a local hospital and staff privileges to replace local hospital on-staff physicians" this is an unnecessary requirement designed only to close the facility, since clinicians are not deemed to be admitting physicians.
The Jackson Women's Health Organization, the only licensed abortion clinic in the state, is singularly targeted by this statute and, therefore, this statute should be deemed invalid by the Mississippi courts immediately.
In an attempt to comply with Mississippi statute, two JWHO staff physicians attempted to apply for privileges at the seven Jackson Mississippi hospitals and were rejected each time because the hospitals believed that any such admittance "would lead to both an internal and external disruption of the Hospital's function and business within this community."
NAP believes that the reason behind this and other legislation that makes access to reproductive options impossible is the religious position of the sponsors of the bills. This represents a violation of the First Amendment's guarantee that, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..." These anti-women's rights laws are being forwarded and supported by religious-right legislators and because the vast majority of these legislators quote biblical passages to justify their positions, NAP believes that such legislation crosses the line of separation of church and state.
"Typically, bills of this type are couched in language that may at first seem to be merely regulatory or procedural in nature, until you see the effect that such legislation has," said National Atheist Party President, Troy Boyle "but it's merely a transparent attack on religious freedom and the settled law of the land."
"The problem seen here is something that is usually denied by the religious right," said David Rosman, NAP Missouri Assistant State Chapter Leader and author of a book and essays concerning the religiosity of the United States. "Because of the fine balance written into the Establishment Clause, it not only prevents government from supporting religious activities, it also suggests that religion cannot take over government."
Rosman continued saying that by establishing religious based laws, such laws as restricting a woman's right to choose, constitute the government tactically inserting religion into the legislative process.
The National Atheist Party, American Atheists, atheists in general, and all US citizens who understand the safeguards of the First Amendment's Establishment Clause and those who support the women's right to choose, agree that this law is blatantly unconstitutional and must be immediately struck down by Mississippi and U.S. courts.
The National Atheist Party is a non-profit, 527 political organization devoted to issue advocacy and guided by the values of secular humanism and evidenced-based reasoning. The party seeks to politically represent U.S. atheists and all who share the goal of a secular government by gathering the political strength of secularists nationwide. To learn more about the party, visit www.usanap.org.
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