Satanists are turning their eyes to Ohio this week and blasting a bill that would ban abortions after an unborn child’s heart begins to beat.
The Satanic Temple has been active in opposing pro-life efforts in numerous states, including Texas, Michigan and Missouri. They argue that the new Ohio bill violates their religious beliefs and should not become law, Inverse reports.
“To us, the heartbeat is irrelevant to the claim of personhood,” Satanic Temple spokesperson Lucien Greaves said in a statement. “We do not advocate for a belief in the soul, therefore we feel that complex cerebral functions necessary for perception are what makes a person a person. The non-viable fetus (a fetus that cannot survive outside the woman’s body) is, we feel, a part of the woman’s own body, and it is her choice whether or not she continues the pregnancy.”
The Ohio state legislature gave final approval to the heartbeat legislation last week, sending it to Gov. John Kasich’s desk for approval. The bill would prohibit almost all abortions by making it illegal to abort an unborn child after his or her heart starts beating, generally considered to be about 22 days after conception. Many, however, believe the legislation would be struck down in a court challenge.
The Satanists said they are ready to take legal action to stop the legislation.
Here’s more from the report:
“We have been in touch with Planned Parenthood in other states to apprise them of our actions when they may be affected by what we do,” a spokesperson for the TST told Inverse, explaining that the Temple is happy to work alongside Planned Parenthood, even though it has a different motivation for fighting the provision.
“In general, the mission of Planned Parenthood is to provide certain health services to the broad population that requests their services. We are a religious organization that fights for the religious rights of our members. Existing law supports our claim for religious exemption for our members, whereas other entities, such as Planned Parenthood, who may object to this proposed law have a greater hurdle to overcome because there may be many whom they serve who do not religiously object to the law. Nevertheless, if Planned Parenthood, or any other entity, wants to support our efforts, we would be happy to work with them.”
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Some Satanists also have been protesting a new Texas rule that requires aborted babies’ bodies to be cremated or buried. Last week, Satanist leader Jex Blackmore urged people to send semen-soaked socks and rags, a potentially illegal activity, to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s office to protest the new rule.
“The concept of the state mandating a non-medical ritual as part of the abortion procedure is offensive and crude, essentially demanding that all citizens adopt the moral, philosophical opinion that fetal tissue is comparable to a living human,” Blackmore said.
The Satanists are the ones denying biological facts, however. It has been many years since scientists discovered that a unique, new human life begins at conception. Unlike sperm or an egg, the human embryo is a separate, distinct living human being from his or her mother.
In 2015, Blackmore also blogged about her abortion step-by-step in 2015 in Michigan as pro-life lawmakers considered new laws to protect unborn babies.
Satanist groups also have staged grotesque counter-protests outside abortion facilities to mock pro-life sidewalk counselors and others.