Legal Update: TST v. Indiana

Legal Update: TST v. Indiana

Countless news outlets recently published headlines declaring that, in our efforts to assert a religious exemption from Indiana's abortion ban, The Satanic Temple had lost in federal court. Already, the headline summary is misrepresentative of the facts. Our actual legal claim was never considered by the Court. In fact the judge did not hear our case, leaving us free to refile a suit based upon the same claim in the very near future.

In Court the concept of "standing,” which demands that plaintiffs challenging a law must establish that the law in question directly affects (or will directly affect) them, was misemployed. The Court ruled that The Satanic Temple's failure to provide a list of names of Indiana Satanists who will become pregnant and need an abortion in the future, amounted to a failure to establish such standing.

You might be asking yourself, “Wait - didn’t the Supreme Court just hear a case involving a website builder who was worried that she could, maybe one day, be asked to make a gay website by a hypothetical, future client, violating her religious beliefs?” They sure did!

This past summer's Supreme Court ruling in the case of 303 Creative, Inc. v. Elenis. In 303 Creative, a website builder worried that her Christian faith might one day be affronted by a client whose website could contain pro-homosexual messages. The plaintiff, Lorie Smith, as it turns out, was never asked to create a gay website, and it’s quite plausible to imagine a future in which Lorie Smith is never confronted with a gay website contract at all. Nonetheless, her case moved forward, and she prevailed, while our case was thrown out before being litigated at all.

Despite the fact that our case has not yet been litigated, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita has declared his office's victory, apparently not realizing that all that has been "won" by the state is time. More time for oppressive and dangerous anti-abortion bans to endanger the health and lives of the people of Indiana, while demanding that our members suffer the inevitable injustice of their misguided laws, returning with "standing" when we have a plaintiff member, pregnant and in need of an abortion, before the court will acknowledge the reality of the situation.

Want to help TST fight states that limit abortion access? Now is the chance!

The Satanic Temple needs to find a member who is affected by Indiana's abortion ban. Our reproductive rights lawsuit against the state of Indiana has been halted, and we need to establish standing to file our appeal. The legal question as to whether the state can restrict abortion access for TST members is still unsettled.

The Satanic Temple is calling for pregnant supporters in Indiana to stand as anonymous plaintiffs in contesting Indiana’s abortion ban. Potential Indiana plaintiffs should have become pregnant while using birth control method(s) that subsequently failed, leaving abortion as the only option. Anyone wishing to help, who fits these conditions, can reach out to TST’s Religious Reproductive Rights Campaign at