The Satanic Temple, a group that claims aborting unborn babies is a religious “ritual,” is challenging the new Texas heartbeat law on religious freedom grounds.

The Hill reports the group just asked for an exemption from the pro-life law under the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act. If the state refuses, the Satanic Temple said it will ask the courts for “judicial relief.”

The Texas law went into effect last week, prohibiting abortions once an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable, about six weeks of pregnancy. It has the potential to save tens of thousands of babies’ lives every year. Unique from other heartbeat laws, it includes a private enforcement mechanism that allows people to file lawsuits against abortionists who violate the law and those who help them.

The Satanic Temple believes abortion is a religious “ritual” similar to communion or baptism for Christians. Last year, the group even raffled off a free abortion to raise money for its pro-abortion work.

It slammed the new Texas law as “unjust” and “tyrannical” and demanded that the state grant an exception for its members.

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Attorney Matthew Kezhaya who is representing the pro-abortion group said the Satanic Temple believes in bodily autonomy and science, FOX 32 Chicago reports.

“By regulating the context in which the ritual happens, you’re basically regulating the ritual itself. If I say nobody can buy wine, well that is affecting the Catholics’ ability to do Mass,” Kezhaya said.

The group wants, among other things, the government to give its members an exemption to the safety regulations on abortion drugs – regulations that help protect mothers as well as their unborn babies.

Here’s more from The Hill:

The religion announced last week that its lawyers sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration asking that its members have access to abortion medication without being subject to its regulations.

TST argues that its members should have access to the medications under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which allows Native Americans to have access to drugs for their religious rituals.

Meanwhile, leftist news outlets are portraying the Satanic Temple’s actions in a positive light.

Salon editor Brett Bachman said the group’s pro-abortion challenge “may be the last, best hope to save abortion rights in Texas,” while the Huffington Post described their action as “devilishly clever” and and Fortune described them as “the last hope to take down Texas’s abortion bill, according to Breitbart.

Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups also sued Texas, but the U.S. Supreme Court refused to temporarily block the law last week. However, their lawsuit continues.

For years, the Satanic Temple has been suing to challenge pro-life state laws, and so far all of its lawsuits have failed. In 2020, a federal appeals court rejected its attempt at challenging a Missouri informed consent law. In 2019, the Missouri Supreme Court dismissed another one of the Satanic Temple’s lawsuits.

But every time it loses, it tries again with a new approach. Its plan is to challenge pro-life laws based on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which ensures the government does not unnecessarily interfere with people’s religious freedom.

The Satanic Temple is heavily involved in abortion activism in the U.S. Breitbart once described its work as a “pro-abortion crusade to come to the aid of America’s largest abortion provider,” Planned Parenthood.

Meanwhile, pro-life advocates are reaching out to pregnant women across Texas with compassion and understanding, offering resources and emotional support to help them and their babies. Earlier this year, state lawmakers increased support for pregnant and parenting mothers and babiesensuring that they have resources to choose life for their babies.

Women may call or text 1-800-712-4357 or chat online with OptionLine, a 24-hour bilingual hotline run by Heartbeat International that has helped connect millions of women to pregnancy and parenting resources.

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