A Religious Freedom Defense Of Reproductive Rights

The Supreme Court seems a little bit shy about this perspective. I wonder why.

Published in
6 min readDec 4, 2021


Photo by Nasser Eledroos on Unsplash

On December 1st, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The behavior of the justices at oral argument inspired a lot of panic about reproductive rights in the news. Most of the articles on the topic I’ve seen raise the question of whether or not the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v Wade. Few of them tell us the true goals of the 6 very conservative members of the court.

I’ve read up on the arguments and most of them center on whether or not ending the life of a fetus is a right protected by the Constitution. But one thing that I find missing is the pursuit of happiness. Conservatives are all over life, but they really come up short on the pursuit of happiness. Maybe that’s my inner Puritan talking. Reproductive rights fall squarely under the pursuit of happiness.

A mother who is forced to carry a baby to term is not going to be happy about her predicament. She will not be happy that the state has the power to tell her what to do with her body in just the same way that vaccine resisters are defying vaccine mandates. This is a bitter irony of an American faction that claims the higher ground when the subject is individual freedom.

Justice Amy Coney Barrett said during oral arguments that carrying a baby to term is not a big deal. Read below and remember, if you voted for Trump, you voted for this:

“Insofar as you and many of your amici focus on the ways in which forced parenting, forced motherhood, would hinder women’s access to the workplace and to equal opportunities, it’s also focused on the consequences of parenting and the obligations of motherhood that flow from pregnancy. Why don’t the safe haven laws take care of that problem? It seems to me that it focuses the burden much more narrowly.”

What Barrett is talking about is the safe haven laws that allow a woman to give up her child for adoption, anonymously, and without negative legal consequences. She will have other emotional or physical consequences, no matter what happens. But it’s interesting to me that the conservative wing of the court is so focused on life. In…