The Satanic Temple has condemned the new abortion law in Texas and says it plans to use its religious rights to stake a claim for abortion.
Conservatives Christians form the core of the anti-abortion movement, and now, fighting them for bodily autonomy are worshippers of Satan. Yes, you heard that right. The Satanic Temple is fighting to protect the reproductive rights upheld by Roe V. Wade in the wake of the new restrictive Texas law banning abortions after week 6 of pregnancy, reported Boston.com The Satanic Temple is a non-theistic religious group that shot to fame after being profiled in the 2019 documentary Hail Satan?. The Satanic Temple has gained a reputation for its progressive politics and much of its work is centered around taking governments, people, and corporations to court.
Lawyers for The Satanic Temple (TST) sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to request that TST be able to access abortifacients without being subjected to the agency’s regulations.— The Satanic Temple (@satanic_temple_) September 1, 2021
We still have Religious Liberty, and we believe in bodily autonomy.#roevswade pic.twitter.com/cJsmZ2WMul
TST holds very public and aggressive rallies to make their cases. They have taken local governments in Minnesota, Arkansas, Arizona, Texas, and Boston to court. The group's religious beliefs are based on 18th Century enlightenment ideals and they see secularism and individual liberties as some of the core tenets of their religion. The group claims to have 500,000 members globally.
TST stands ready to assist any member who shares our deeply-held religious convictions regarding the right to reproductive freedom. Accordingly, we encourage any member who resides in TX and wishes to undergo the Satanic Abortion Ritual within the first 24 weeks of pregnancy(1/3)— The Satanic Temple (@satanic_temple_) September 3, 2021
“Consistent with our tenets that call for bodily autonomy and acting in accordance with best scientific evidence, The Satanic Temple, based in Salem, religiously objects to many of the restrictions that states have enacted that interfere with abortion access,” reads their website. The Satanic Temple is making an argument for bodily autonomy and reproductive rights on religious grounds. "We must accept the fact that traditional efforts to protect reproductive rights have failed. Religions have special privileges under the First Amendment and RFRA. The Satanic Temple is utilizing these privileges to protect our religious belief in bodily autonomy — we’re taking our fight to the next level."
TST wants to use its religious rights to enable abortion without unnecessary state interference. Lucien Greaves, TST’s co-founder, said the Temple has written a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), seeking permission to provide its members with abortion pharmaceuticals as part of its Satanic Abortion Ritual within the first 24 weeks of pregnancy. TST had ritualized abortion procedures for its members in 2020 to meet the emotional needs of its members who were being denied bodily autonomy by restrictive anti-abortion laws being passed in various states. “We respect their choice,” Greaves stated. “And we respect their decision as being the most valid decision within this process.”
“We’ve ritualized and centralized the abortion process so that beforehand somebody needing an abortion can come to us for preliminary counseling in which there are these affirmations that attest that they made their choice within their understanding of the best available options and that this is the right choice for them, and that they did it in line with their religious tenets, which are our own,” said Greaves, before adding that they would organize a similar counseling process after the abortion. TST’s lawyers have demanded access to Misoprostol and Mifepristone — pills that induce abortions — “without being subjected to the agency’s regulations” under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
The new Texas law, SB8, enables citizens to file a lawsuit against those who "aid and abet" abortions. Referred to as the 'sue thy neighbor' law, it would place a $10,000 "bounty" on abortion providers and anyone else who helps an individual obtain an abortion past about six weeks gestation, which is when most child-bearers even realize that they are pregnant. The recently added conservative Supreme court judges helped ensure the law wasn't blocked with a vote of 5-4, effectively circumventing Roe vs. Wade. Other states with a conservative majority are looking the implement laws similar to the ones in Texas.
The Biden administration sued Texas over the state's restrictive abortion law, calling the law “clearly unconstitutional,” reported The Guardian. The US attorney general, Merrick Garland, said the law is one that “all Americans should fear”. President Joe Biden has also condemned the new law. “This extreme Texas law blatantly violates the constitutional right established under Roe v Wade and upheld as a precedent for nearly half a century,” said Biden in a statement.
In a world where god's followers are working overtime to make decisions for women on their behalf, Satanists are fighting for their rights and bodily autonomy. Hail Satan?