Friday, April 03, 2015
Thursday, April 02, 2015
Indiana has recently become famous for its particular version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act which has been widely criticized as a barely camouflaged attempt to give religious fundamentalists (and the firms they own) more scope to refuse service to people who might try to order cakes or flowers for same-sex wedding parties or who might try to renew their contraceptive pill prescriptions and so on.
Others have written about that in great detail. What struck me when looking at the Indiana law was how it defined the "person" that the new law would provide with restored (refreshed! renewed!) religious freedom:
Sec. 7. As used in this chapter, "person" includes the following:Remember Hobby Lobby and the "closely held" companies? This sounds similar, perhaps a child of that decision. So now companies can be persons, too!
(1) An individual.
(2) An organization, a religious society, a church, a body of communicants, or a group organized and operated primarily for religious purposes.
(3) A partnership, a limited liability company, a corporation, a company, a firm, a society, a joint-stock company, an unincorporated association, or another entity that:
(A) may sue and be sued; and
(B) exercises practices that are compelled or limited by a system of religious belief held by:
(i) an individual; or
(ii) the individuals;
who have control and substantial ownership of the entity, regardless of whether the entity is organized and operated for profit or nonprofit purposes.
That's the background in my mind for thinking about the case of Purvi Patel, an Indiana woman who has been convicted* of feticide (based on an Indiana law Ind. Code Ann. § 35-42-1-6) and also of felony neglect of a dependent.