The Satanic Temple filed a lawsuit Friday that challenges an Idaho abortion ban on religious freedom grounds, claiming aborting unborn babies is a “religious ritual.”
Idaho is one of 15 states that currently protect unborn babies by banning abortions, and eight more are fighting in court to do so. These laws went into effect after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, and are saving tens of thousands of babies’ lives.
However, the Satanic Temple has vowed to fight states’ life-saving laws in court.
The Spokesman-Review reports its federal lawsuit against Idaho argues that the state abortion ban violates its members’ religious freedom under the Fifth, 13th and 14th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.
The Satanic Temple claims aborting an unborn baby is a religious “ritual” and likens it to communion or baptism for Christians. In 2020, it even raffled off an abortion to raise money for its lawsuits.
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Along with its religious freedom claims, the satanic group also appears to argue that consent to sex is not consent to pregnancy.
The complaint filed in the United States District Court of Idaho explains the abortion law violates their beliefs that one’s body is their own and that one’s belief should conform to their scientific understanding of the world.
The Satanic Temple conducts an abortion ritual in line with these beliefs for “involuntary pregnant women.” An “Involuntary pregnant woman” is defined as someone unable to give consent (other than rape or incest) or when birth control fails.
The complaint further states the “involuntary pregnant women” that are a part of the Satanic Temple have been unable to have these rituals because of the new state law – which violates their religious freedom under the constitution.
The lawsuit names Gov. Brad Little, a pro-life Republican, and others.
Last week, the satanic group filed a similar lawsuit against Indiana, claiming the state is violating its members’ religious freedom by banning the killing of unborn babies in abortions.
The lawsuit says the Satanic Temple religion is based on the idea that “beliefs should conform to one’s best scientific understanding of the world,” and an unborn baby is just part of the woman’s body and not its own separate human person, Fox 59 reports.
It also accuses Indiana of violating the 13th Amendment, which prohibits slavery. According to the lawsuit, the abortion ban forces women “into a condition of involuntary servitude” because they must carry their unborn babies to term.
The lawsuits are no surprise. In May, the Satanic Temple announced plans to challenge pro-life laws on religious freedom grounds in anticipation that the Supreme Court would overturn Roe.
The Satanic Temple is deeply involved in abortion advocacy. Breitbart once described its work as a “pro-abortion crusade to come to the aid of America’s largest abortion provider,” Planned Parenthood.
Within the past decade, it has filed numerous lawsuits in different states to overturn pro-life laws, though its attempts thus far have failed. Other recent lawsuits include a challenge to the Texas heartbeat law, which pro-life advocates say has saved at least 20,000 unborn babies’ lives thus far.
The Satanic Temple also is pushing its beliefs on young children. Recently, the group began opening clubs in elementary schools.
The Planned Parenthood abortion chain also is challenging the Idaho law in a separate lawsuit.