The Satanic Temple continued its aggressive attack this week on a Missouri abortion law that provides scientific facts about human development to women considering abortions.
Claiming the law violates their members’ religious beliefs, the Satanic group filed an appeal to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals asking that their lawsuit be reinstated, the AP reports.
The Missouri informed consent law requires women to wait 72 hours before going through with an abortion. It requires abortionists to provide women with a booklet of information that states that human life begins at conception, and it mandates that women be offered the chance to see their unborn baby’s image on an ultrasound and hear the baby’s heartbeat.
A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit earlier this year, but Satanic Temple member “Judy Doe” filed an appeal that her group announced Wednesday, according to the report.
Their lawsuit argues that the state forced “Judy Doe” to receive a booklet with “factually inaccurate” information that is “designed to dissuade women from getting an abortion.” The group claims the law violates its First Amendment religious freedom.
Satanic Temple spokesperson Lucien Greaves told Patheos’ Friendly Atheist that they believe the state is pushing its religious beliefs on them.
“Missouri is claiming that their mandated ‘Informed Consent’ booklet which states as fact that life begins at conception and that abortion will terminate a unique human life — though contestable as a scientific claim — is merely a belief that overlaps with certain religious beliefs, not necessarily a religious proposition itself,” Greaves said.
He continued: “Technically, a non-Christian could believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He shall resurrect at the End of Times, but it is not the place of the government to proselytize such beliefs even if they are to claim an attachment to those beliefs based solely on some inexplicable non-religious preference.”
However, it is Greaves that is letting his beliefs get in the way of facts. Scientifically, it is well accepted that a unique, new human life comes into being at conception. Numerous medical textbooks, prominent scientists and even some abortion activists admit it is scientifically accurate.
The radical Satanists group has been trying to stop fact-based laws in Missouri for years. It also filed a state lawsuit against the informed consent law and lost in February.
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In that case, Missouri Supreme Court Judge Laura Denvir Stith and four fellow justices said “Mary Doe” could have refused to accept the booklet.
“(T)he informed consent law neither requires a pregnant woman to read the booklet in question nor requires her to have or pay for an ultrasound,” Stith wrote in her ruling. “And, while Ms. Doe mentions the 72-hour waiting period, she does not allege how that waiting period conflicts with her religion nor that it was an undue burden, nor did she seek to enjoin its enforcement prior to the expiration of that waiting period.”
Chief Justice Zell M. Fischer wrote a concurring opinion that refuted the Satanists’ religious freedom claims. He said the U.S. Supreme Court “has made it clear that state speech is not religious speech solely because it ‘happens to coincide’ with a religious tenet,” St. Louis Public Radio reported at the time.
According to the Satanists, informed consent laws violate two core tenants of their 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 Satanic Temple is heavily involved in abortion activism in the U.S. Its members have filed multiple lawsuits challenging state abortion regulations, some of which are on-going.
Some of its members also attempt to intimidate peaceful pro-life sidewalk counselors through gruesome protests. In 2016, pro-life advocates outside of a Detroit, Michigan Planned Parenthood faced a disturbing scene when a group from the Satanic Temple arrived to counter-protest wearing baby masks and carrying whips. They held a similar protest on Good Friday in 2017.
Breitbart once described the Satanic Temple’s actions as a “pro-abortion crusade to come to the aid of America’s largest abortion provider,” Planned Parenthood.