The Satanic Temple said its followers should be granted religious exemptions to perform “religious abortion rituals” in states that have placed hurdles to the controversial medical procedure, reports Fox News.
In response to a leaked Supreme Court opinion draft that would overturn Roe v. Wade, The Satanic Temple said they were committed to safeguarding “religious abortion access” for its adherents.
“In states that outlaw abortion but grant exceptions for instances of incest and rape,” the ‘Temple’ said in a statement, “members should be permitted a religious exception to perform TST’s religious abortion ritual.”
“States that outlaw abortion and do not grant exceptions present more significant challenges, but TST has several plans that we will be undertaking quite soon,” The Satanic Temple said. “First, we will be suing the FDA to permit TST access to Mifepristone and Misoprostol for use under medical supervision as part of our religious abortion ritual.”
The religious organization said they are filing the lawsuit under Federal RFRA, noting that “unfettered access” to these drugs – that are used to terminate a pregnancy – would be a considerable step toward enabling The Satanic Temple to perform their abortion ritual without interference from the government.
TST established the “Satanic Abortion Ritual” to make a case for a religious exception under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), a federal law from 1993 making it illegal for state governments to interfere in a person’s religion without demonstrating a compelling interest.
The Satanists claim that if abortion is considered a religious ritual, it would be illegal for the state to intervene or burden patients with prerequisites. The “ritual” argument was established in a series of lawsuits targeting Missouri, where women are compelled to read “informed consent” booklets before getting an abortion.
Among their arguments was that subjecting its adherents to the requirements violated one of the Satanist’s main tenets: “one’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.”
According to TST’s website, the abortion ritual involves reciting two of its tenets along with a personal affirmation that’s “ceremoniously intertwined” with abortions.
“Because prerequisite procedures such as waiting periods, mandatory viewing of sonograms, and compulsory counseling contravene Satanists’ religious convictions, those who perform the religious abortion ritual are exempt from these requirements and can receive first-trimester abortions on demand in states that enacted the Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” the ‘Temple’ wrote on its website.