Members of the religious right have for years attacked, disrespected and humiliated those seeking an abortion or birth control.

The Supreme Court has become the referee between women’s rights and religious conscience. The separation of church and state is weakened. Men and women are no longer equal here. Men can choose their health care – women cannot.

Religion has divided the United States. “Red” states, controlled by Republicans, enact laws against women and abortion. In “blue” states, progress is not impeded by religion.

Will the recent Supreme Court ruling striking down abortion access restrictions in Texas help women in other “red” states facing years in jail for causing a miscarriage? In Indiana, Bei Bei Shuai was jailed for a year for attempting suicide while she was pregnant. Another Indiana woman, Purvi Patel, is appealing a 20-year sentence for taking pills to end her pregnancy!

Religious teachings and beliefs run deep and terrible things are done in God’s name. The Islamic State’s jihad is a holy war waged as a “religious duty.” Might the war against abortion be called a Jihad?

Pope Francis has criticized the Catholic Church for putting dogma before love and for prioritizing moral doctrines over serving the poor and marginalized.

The Republican Party platform calls for banning all abortions, and the party promises to overturn Roe v. Wade by electing Republicans to the U.S. Senate who will support anti-abortion conservatives to the Supreme Court. Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, said that women who have abortions should be punished.

Last year in Paraguay, where abortion is illegal, an 11-year-old girl who had been raped and impregnated was forced by the government to give birth. She was denied an abortion. Is this what we want for the United States?

Gene Proctor

West Bath