The Satanic Temple Sues Missouri Over Reproductive Rights

The Satanic Temple says abortion restrictions violate religious freedom.

Give the devil its due process. The left-path leaning groups who use the symbolism know how to get things done. The Satanic Temple, known for their activist efforts to bring plurality to an increasingly theocratic America, is taking on reproductive rights. The Missouri Satanic Temple set lawsuits in motion at the state and federal levels seeking to overturn an abortion law requiring a woman to wait 72 hours before the procedure, undergo an ultrasound and hear a fetal heartbeat.

The Satanic Temple filed a third lawsuit against the state of Missouri over its “draconian abortion laws,” according to a press statement. TST objects to “informed consent” laws, which mandate that women seeking abortions be required to receive a booklet that is “factually inaccurate and designed to dissuade women from getting an abortion.” The TST argues these practices have “no legitimate secular purpose and violate their First Amendment guarantee of religious free exercise.”

“With a new suit already filed while the state Supreme Court deliberates on our previous complaint, I believe we’ve effectively given the lie to the Attorney General’s Office insinuations throughout the hearings thus far that this issue was an isolated affair insofar as The Satanic Temple membership’s religious liberty is concerned,” TST spokesperson Lucien Greaves said in a statement.

Judge Henry Edward Autrey dismissed the temple’s original federal suit after waiting 9 months to deliberate. The judge “prejudicially determined the case moot due to the plaintiff’s presumed state of non-pregnancy,” TST claims. The case was appealed and remanded to the state Supreme Court. Judges have not yet issued a ruling. The temple says the new suit demonstrates that their claim is not an isolated event.

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The Satanic Temple brought a new suit forward by a plaintiff known as “Judy Doe.” The suit argues, as does the previous suits filed on behalf of “Mary Doe,” that her religion, as a member of TST “should exempt her from the imposition of abortion restrictions that conflict with her beliefs. Because Missouri is using its power to regulate abortion to promote the religious belief that life begins at conception, TST argues that this is a violation of the Establishment Clause.”

TST claims the 72-hour waiting period violates the Free Exercise Clause because “it compels TST members to consider a religious proposition with which they do not agree and therefore delays their ability to obtain an abortion on demand.”

“With a bald theocratic imposition of abortion restrictions into Missouri state law, and a continued expansion of religious privilege and exemption, Missouri lawmakers are going to be forced to accept that there are religious perspectives, just as deeply-held, that may directly contradict their own religious beliefs and directives,” Greaves said in a statement.

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The Satanic Temple of Arizona recently filed a lawsuit against Scottsdale, Arizona, for turning a request to present an invocation at a city council meeting in 2016. In 2014, The Satanic Temple in Oklahoma fought to bring a 7-foot-tall statue of Satan in the state Capitol on the spot where a Ten Commandments monument was placed in 2012. The Satanic Temple attempted to perform a scaled-down ritual in Harvard Square.

The Satanic Temple is a non-theistic religious organization dedicated to the promotion of Satanic rights. The Satanic Temple’s mission is to encourage “benevolence and empathy among all people, reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense and justice, and be directed by the human conscience to undertake noble pursuits guided by the individual will.” They are accepting donations to offset legal costs, which are not pro-bono. Donations may be made through their website.