The Salem-based Satanic Temple is the newest group to battle the Texas abortion law, as they cite religious freedom to help women skirt the most restrictive abortion law in the nation.
The Satanic Temple is arguing that women should be able to take an abortion-inducing drug as an expression of religious freedom within the first 24 weeks of pregnancy. The new Texas law bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.
In the wake of the new law last week, a lawyer for the Massachusetts-based Satanic Temple sent a letter to the FDA to request that the church be allowed access without prescription to the abortion-inducing drugs mifepristone and misoprostol as part of its “sacramental” abortion ritual.
“I am sure Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton — who famously spends a good deal of his time composing press releases about Religious Liberty issues in other states — will be proud to see that Texas’s robust Religious Liberty laws, which he so vociferously champions, will prevent future Abortion Rituals from being interrupted by superfluous government restrictions meant only to shame and harass those seeking an abortion,” Lucien Greaves, co-founder of the temple, said in a statement.
The law prohibits abortions once medical professionals can detect cardiac activity, usually around six weeks — before some women know they’re pregnant.
Courts have blocked other states from imposing similar restrictions, but Texas’ law differs significantly because it leaves enforcement up to private citizens through civil lawsuits instead of criminal prosecutors.
It allows any private citizen to sue Texas abortion providers who violate the law, as well as anyone who “aids or abets” a woman getting the procedure. The law does not make exceptions for rape or incest.
The Supreme Court voted 5-4 last week to not immediately block the law.
Now, the Satanic Temple website features a message to Texans seeking a way around the new law.
“The Satanic Temple stands ready to assist any member that shares its deeply-held religious convictions regarding the right to reproductive freedom,” the temple wrote on its website.
The temple added, “Accordingly, we encourage any member who resides in Texas and wishes to undergo the Satanic Abortion Ritual within the first 24 weeks of pregnancy to contact The Satanic Temple so we may help them fight this law directly.”
Herald wire services were used in this report.
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