Removing religious exemptions may lead to more legal action against faith-based hospitals and schools, the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has warned.

In a podcast on the ACL’s website, managing director Jim Wallace said religious hospitals that refused abortions, and religious schools which preferenced students from Christian families could be challenged if those rights were removed.

Religious exemptions for service delivery from faith-based organisations may be knocked off the protected list if the federal anti-discrimination bill passes Parliament.

Wallace said he did not agree with religious exemptions in anti-discrimination law, instead he called for freedom of religion to be protected by those laws.

“We believe that we should by virtue of the fact that freedom of religion is a fundamental human right… it should be simply stated in the legislation rather than giving exemptions and exceptions from discrimination as if we’re really bad guys and they’re going to let us off,” he said.

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