The Satanic Temple, a group that believes abortion is a “religious ritual” similar to communion or baptism, is fighting against a new Ohio law that ensures aborted babies receive a proper burial.
WLWT 5 News reports the religious group slammed the law as a violation of the First Amendment this week and threatened to take legal action.
Signed by Gov. Mike DeWine in December, the law requires the Ohio Department of Health to establish rules for the proper and humane burial or cremation of aborted babies’ bodies. It creates penalties for violations and requires abortion facilities to pay for the babies to be cremated or buried.
The law also allows the mother to decide “whether the final disposition shall be by cremation or interment” and “the location of the final disposition.”
Several states have similar laws in place, and the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Indiana’s law in 2019. Such laws not only ensure that aborted babies’ bodies are treated with dignity and respect, they also are a safeguard against abortion facilities trying to sell aborted baby body parts.
However, the Satanic Temple claims the Ohio law violates their religious freedom.
“Ohio’s desire to dictate funeral procedures cuts at the heart of religious freedoms as these rites have been an essential component of religious practices for thousands of years,” said Sydney Goodwin, a spokesperson for the group, in a statement.
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In contradiction to science, Satanists believe unborn babies are part of the mother’s body.
“Satanists believe that non-viable fetal tissue is part of the person who carries it. As such, state impositions of ceremonial requirements dictating its disposal, barring any plausible medical or sanitary concerns, violate their ability to contextualize the termination of a pregnancy on their terms,” Goodwin said.
Instead, Goodwin said they believe “fetal tissue” should be treated like other medical waste and incinerated.
The Satanic Temple, a radical pro-abortion group, is trying to overturn pro-life laws across the country using a religious freedom argument. Their belief that aborting an unborn baby is a religious ritual is part of their argument.
“Many states have laws that interfere with our members’ ability to practice their religious beliefs,” said Satanic Temple spokesperson Jane Essex in August. “No Christian would accept a mandatory waiting period before they can partake in communion. No Christian would tolerate a law that insists state counseling is necessary before someone can be baptized. Our members are justly entitled to religious liberty in order to practice our rituals as well.”
So far, all of the Satanic Temple’s lawsuits against pro-life laws have failed. In 2020, a federal appeals court rejected their latest attempt at challenging Missouri’s informed consent law. In 2019, the Missouri Supreme Court dismissed another one of the Satanic Temple’s lawsuits. But every time they lose, they try again with a new approach.
The Satanic Temple is heavily involved in abortion activism in the U.S. Breitbart once described its work as a “pro-abortion crusade to come to the aid of America’s largest abortion provider,” Planned Parenthood.
Some of its members 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.