A Missouri Satanist managed to convince a court that state informed consent laws about abortion violate her religious beliefs.
Satanic Temple spokesperson Jex Blackmore announced the lawsuit in September, another step in a long battle between the group and pro-life leaders in Missouri.
The group is arguing that Missouri abortion regulations violate their religious freedom because they require that women be given information about their unborn baby’s development and wait 72 hours before going through with an abortion.
Last week, the Western District Court of Appeals ruled in the Satanists’ favor, according to the Miami Herald.
“Because we believe that this case raises real and substantial constitutional claims, it is within the Missouri Supreme Court’s exclusive jurisdiction… and we hereby order its transfer” to the Missouri Supreme Court, Judge Thomas Newton wrote in the decision.
The lawsuit is on behalf of “Mary Doe,” a member of the Satanic Temple from Missouri who aborted her unborn baby in 2015 at a Planned Parenthood.
The group alleges that Doe’s religious freedom was trampled upon by the state informed consent laws, which require that women undergo an ultrasound and receive information about their unborn baby’s development, abortion risks and alternatives to abortion. The laws also require that the woman take 72 hours to consider the information and her decision before going through with the abortion.
According to the Satanists, these laws violated two core tenants of Doe’s and Satanists’ beliefs: First, “One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone,” and, second, “Beliefs should conform to our best scientific understanding of the world. We should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit our beliefs.”
The district court agreed, arguing that Doe presented “a contested matter of right that involves fair doubt and reasonable room for disagreement.”
Here’s more from the report:
The law compels women to wait 72 hours between their initial visit and the procedure, view an active ultrasound and sign a form pledging that they’ve read a booklet that includes the line, “[t]he life of each human being begins at conception. Abortion will terminate the life of a separate, unique, living human being.”
She declined to hear her fetus’ heartbeat and felt “guilt and shame,” according to court documents.
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She claims that “the sole purpose of the law is to indoctrinate pregnant women into the belief held by some, but not all, Christians that a separate and unique human being begins at conception,” according to the court’s opinion. “Because the law does not recognize or include other beliefs, she contends that it establishes an official religion and makes clear that the state disapproves of her beliefs.”
The informed consent law is based on scientific facts, not Christian or Jewish or Buddhist or any other religion’s beliefs. Scientifically, it is well established that a unique new human life comes into being at the moment of conception. Likewise, the information women receive as part of informed consent — facts about their unborn baby’s development and abortion risks – also are backed up by strong scientific research.
This radical Satanists group has been trying to stop fact-based laws in Missouri for years. They have staged bizarre and grotesque protests, launched publicity campaigns following them step by step as they plan and arrange to kill their unborn babies in abortions, and repeatedly challenged these laws in court.
Last year, Breitbart described the Satanic Temple’s actions as a “pro-abortion crusade to come to the aid of America’s largest abortion provider,” Planned Parenthood.
In 2016, a federal judge threw out the Satanic Temple’s challenge of the Missouri 72-hour waiting period law. U.S. District Judge Henry Edward Autrey ruled that the plaintiff “Mary Doe” failed to show “sufficiently concrete injuries” resulting from the law. The Satanic Temple lost a similar challenge at the state level earlier that year.