The Satanic Temple plans to challenge pro-life laws on religious freedom grounds if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade based on the claim that killing an unborn baby in an abortion is a “religious ritual” in its members’ views.
The pro-abortion group announced its plans last week in reaction to a leaked draft opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court that would overturn Roe v. Wade. Without Roe, states would be allowed to protect unborn babies from abortion again, and predictions estimate anywhere from a dozen to 26 states would do so.
In a statement May 5, the Satanic Temple (TST) said its lawsuit would force states with abortion bans to provide religious exemptions to its members so that they can access abortion drugs.
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“States that outlaw abortion and do not grant exceptions present more significant challenges, but TST has a number of plans that we will be undertaking quite soon,” the group said. “First, we will be suing the FDA to permit TST access to [abortion drugs] mifepristone and misoprostol for use under medical supervision as part of our religious abortion ritual.”
The Satanic Temple claims that an abortion is a “ritual” that it likens to communion or baptism for Christians. In 2020, it even raffled off an abortion to raise money for its lawsuits.
The satanic group argues that pro-life laws
violate its members’ religious freedom under the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act because one of its tenets is “one’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.”
Here’s more from Fox News:
The religious organization introduced the “Satanic Abortion Ritual” to argue for a religious exception under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), a 1993 federal law which made it illegal for states to interfere in anyone’s religion without demonstrating a compelling interest.
TST’s argument was that if it regarded abortion as a religious ritual, then the state could not legally intervene or burden patients with prerequisites. The “ritual” argument came amid a series of lawsuits aimed at Missouri where women are, among other things, compelled to read “informed consent” booklets before going through with an abortion.
Last week, the group said it also is working on plans to open new “religious abortion facilities.”
The Satanic Temple is deeply involved in abortion advocacy. Breitbart once described its work as a “pro-abortion crusade to come to the aid of America’s largest abortion provider,” Planned Parenthood.
It has filed multiple lawsuits in different states to overturn pro-life laws, although its attempts thus far have failed. Most recently, the satanic group filed a lawsuit challenging the Texas heartbeat law, which pro-life advocates say has saved as many as 20,000 unborn babies’ lives.
The satanic group also is pushing its beliefs on young children. Recently, the group began opening clubs in elementary schools.
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