The Satanic Temple Religious Reproductive Rights

Consistent with our tenets that call for bodily autonomy and acting in accordance with best scientific evidence, The Satanic Temple religiously objects to many of the restrictions that states have enacted that interfere with abortion access. TST is taking many steps on behalf of our members and those who share our beliefs to establish exemptions from laws that do not promote the health and safety of patients and violate our conscience and beliefs.

Initiatives
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Religious Abortion Ritual:

The Satanic Temple has announced that its Satanic abortion ritual exempts TST members from enduring medically unnecessary and unscientific regulations when seeking to terminate their pregnancy. The ritual involves the recitation of two of our tenets and a personal affirmation that is ceremoniously intertwined with the abortion. Because prerequisite procedures such as waiting periods, mandatory viewing of sonograms, and compulsory counseling contravene Satanists’ religious convictions, those who perform the religious abortion ritual are exempt from these requirements and can receive first-trimester abortions on demand in states that have enacted the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

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How is the satanic abortion ritual legally protected?

As a federally-recognized religion, The Satanic Temple utilizes RFRA and the Hobby Lobby precedent to protect its members from unnecessary abortion regulations that inhibit their religious practices and force them to violate their deeply-held beliefs.

How to ensure your religious reproductive rights
The First Amendment and RFRA:

The First Amendment’s Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause as well as several state Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRA), “protects religious practices and beliefs from government interference.

State Law:

State laws governing abortions commonly serve no medical purpose and do not result in better health outcomes. Therefore, they unlawfully hinder access to the Satanic abortion ritual.

Next Steps:

If your religious exemptions requests are denied when undergoing reproductive care or seeking to perform the Satanic abortion ritual, immediately contact TST at rrr@thesatanictemple.com with your name and phone number to start the next steps of resolving the situation and deciding whether to take legal action.

Missouri Judy Doe Suit:

When TST member Judy Doe sought to terminate her pregnancy in the state of Missouri, she was faced with legal requirements that contravene her religious beliefs and were not medically necessary. Missouri mandated that she receive literature which asserts the arbitrary opinion that “the life of each human being begins at conception,” and that she endure a 72-hour waiting period, designed so that the state’s arbitrary position on life will be thoroughly considered before undergoing the procedure. TST argued in our lawsuit that the mandated imposition of religious opinions upon Satanists seeking to terminate a pregnancy violates TST’s deeply-held beliefs of bodily autonomy and scientifically-reasoned personal choice. We have appealed the case to the US Supreme Court for further consideration on our claims to religious freedom.

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Informed Consent Database:

TST has released a comprehensive directory that addresses each state’s abortion restrictions regarding the informed consent process for pregnancy termination procedures. Many states have enacted informed consent statutes that interfere with TST's religious beliefs by requiring unnecessary prerequisite procedures and forcing Satanists to accept unscientific, arbitrary language before they are allowed to undergo an abortion. Whereas other research databases provide overviews of these regulations in convoluted grids or brief lists, only TST’s directory contains an exhaustive explanation of abortion statutes that illuminates the subtleties between state laws that other resources consider innocuous.


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EXEMPTIONS FROM RESTRICTIONS AND OBSTACLES TO ABORTION ACCESS

TST insists that certain restrictions interfere with our religious practices. The rights of religious organizations to receive special consideration due to their beliefs has been repeatedly affirmed in courts and this position is further supported by Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) laws.

FETAL BURIAL RULES

Both Indiana and Arkansas have successfully passed laws requiring health care facilities to bury or cremate fetal remains from spontaneous or induced abortion or ectopic pregnancy regardless of their patients’ wishes. This clearly constitutes a violation of the long-established domain of religious entities to handle the remains of the deceased. TST asserts its religious right to treat human tissue as medical waste.

WITHHOLDING OF MEDICAL INFORMATION

One of the fundamental tenets of TST is the need for best scientific information to inform our lives, actions, and decisions. When state laws require that medical professionals withhold information, they directly interfere with our religious practices. In Pennsylvania, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Idaho, Indiana, Missouri, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Arizona, doctors are not required to inform women of complications that may lead them to consider terminating their pregnancies. TST intends to take legal action to require doctors to inform their patients who share our beliefs that they might withhold this kind of information. If they fail to disclose in this scenario, they would be criminally violating their patient’s civil rights.

STATE MANDATED MEDICAL PROCEDURES

Many states require that medically unnecessary procedures be performed prior to terminating a pregnancy. Procedures that have no medical purpose, but are nonetheless required under state law, can be objected to on religious grounds. Courts have upheld the rights of other religious organization to refuse certain procedures that violate the beliefs of their adherents and it is hoped that the courts would similarly approve requests made by members of TST.


STATE MANDATED MEDICAL PROCEDURES

Many states require that medically unnecessary procedures be performed prior to terminating a pregnancy. Procedures that have no medical purpose, but are nonetheless required under state law, can be objected to on religious grounds. Courts have upheld the rights of other religious organization to refuse certain procedures that violate the beliefs of their adherents and it is hoped that the courts would similarly approve requests made by members of TST.

How you can help

Share this information with people who share our deeply held beliefs who may find themselves subjected to restrictions that violate their beliefs

Donate to TST to help support religious reproductive rights

 
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