Satanists Leverage Hobby Lobby Ruling In Support of Pro-Choice Initiative
The Satanic Temple Leverages Hobby Lobby Ruling to Claim Exemption From State-Mandated Pro-Life Materials as First Initiative in Ambitious Women’s Health Campaign
NEW YORK, NY – July 28, 2014 – In response to what The Satanic Temple have dubbed a “pernicious encroachment” of “informed consent” laws regarding abortion, the organization is asserting a religious exemption from the burden of state-mandated “informational” abortion materials for those who share their deeply held beliefs. According to their website, “The Satanic Temple believes that the body is inviolable — subject to one’s own will alone.” Further, “we strive to make all decisions regarding personal health based on the best scientific understanding of the world, regardless of the religious or political beliefs of others.
Informed consent bills — requiring abortion providers to give their patients official “informational” material regarding the procedure — have been criticized in the past for providing biased and false information to women in a bald effort at dissuading them from abortions. Such materials have included claims of a link between abortion and breast cancer, as well as claims regarding a depressive “post-abortion syndrome”, both of which The Satanic Temple view as “scientifically unfounded” and “medically invalid” and therefore an affront to their religious beliefs.
While The Satanic Temple (TST) are not the first organization to criticize the state-mandated abortion materials as false and/or biased, they are the first to offer an exemption from such materials on religious grounds. TST spokesperson, Lucien Greaves, points out that the controversial Hobby Lobby ruling bolsters their cause: “While we feel we have a strong case for an exemption regardless of the Hobby Lobby ruling, the Supreme Court has decided that religious beliefs are so sacrosanct that they can even trump scientific fact. This was made clear when they allowed Hobby Lobby to claim certain contraceptives were abortifacients, when in fact they are not. Because of the respect the Court has given to religious beliefs, and the fact that our beliefs are based on best available knowledge, we expect that our belief in the illegitimacy of state-mandated ‘informational’ material is enough to exempt us, and those who hold our beliefs, from having to receive them.”
Greaves explains the process by which this exemption is offered: “We have drawn up a letter for women who are considering an abortion. The letter explains our position and puts the care provider on notice that a failure to respect our call for an exemption from state-mandated informed consent materials constitutes a violation of our religious liberty. Interested parties can read more at Right to Accurate Medical Information page.
“All women who share our deeply held belief that all their personal choices should be made with access to the best available information, undiluted by biased or false information, are free to seek protection with this exemption whether they are members of The Satanic Temple or not. We merely contend that we are in a unique position to argue the merits of this belief, as it is fundamental to our religious philosophy.”
The exemption from state-mandated informational materials is but the first campaign in a series of Women’s Health initiatives The Satanic Temple intend to make public in the near future.