A new Texas law that went into effect last week criminalizes all abortions performed after the fetus develops a heartbeat, which is at around six weeks. That means that nearly 85% of all abortions that took place in the state are now considered illegal.
Critics of the new law say it’s a major violation of a woman’s right to bodily autonomy. It also has major religious connotations. The pro-life movement that’s been fighting to end abortion rights has been powered by conservative Christian activists for decades.
When signing the law, the Governor of Texas made it clear that the law is a way for Christians to force their beliefs on the population as a whole.
“Our creator endowed us with the right to life, and yet millions of children lose their right to life every year because of abortion,” Abbott stated while signing the law.
Strangely, The Bible has nothing to say about abortion.
Abortion laws in TX violate our religious rights and TST has taken legal action. If TX judges abide by the Constitu… https://t.co/umhFyENbns
— The Satanic Temple (@satanic_temple_)
One “religious” group is fighting back against the draconian abortion laws in Texas because it believes that “religion can, and should, be divorced from superstition.”
The Satanic Temple, headquartered in Salem, Massachusetts, filed a letter with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to request that its members have access to abortion pills using its Religious Freedom Restoration Act rights. Having abortion pills readily available could make it easier to bypass the new Texas law.
The same rights allow Native Americans to access the hallucinogenic drug peyote for their spiritual rituals.
The Temple is a quasi-religious organization that claims it doesn’t believe “in the existence of Satan or the supernatural” but that religious freedom law should apply to all religions.
“Religions have special privileges under the First Amendment and RFRA. The Satanic Temple is utilizing these privileges to protect our religious belief in bodily autonomy – we’re taking our fight to the next level,” Temple cofounder Lucien Greaves said in a statement.
“As the courts affirm the rights of religious organizations to practice their faith, TST is demanding our religious rights to abortion access without unnecessary state interference,” he added.
“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,” the statement continues.
Shoutout to @satanic_temple_ for protecting my reproductive rights.🖤 https://t.co/YqhG56tJLM
— CEO of ₜₑₓₐₛ (@mikuhatsunegirl)
@ServeEmma @MemberBlasts If you live in Texas, @satanic_temple_ is fighting to give you a religious right to aborti… https://t.co/xxepDoOpJS
— Trinity 🥀🌼 ($10 premium) (@TrinnityBlair)
Have you heard the good word of Satan? https://t.co/F16KqVJsgI
— Matt (@aceofknaves88)
The Temple says its access to abortion pills is made possible by a precedent set by the Supreme Court’s 2014 Hobby Lobby decision. The decision prevents the government from putting a “burden on free exercise of religion without a compelling reason.”
The Satanic Temple places a very high priority on bodily autonomy. Its third tenet reads: “One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone. One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.”
Satanists unveil Baphomet statue at Arkansas Capitol https://t.co/XFG40C0SBy https://t.co/9i5u2t4x9X
— New York Post (@nypost)
This isn’t the first time that the Temple has fought for the separation of church and state. It caused a huge stir in 2018 when it protested a Ten Commandments monument erected outside of the Arkansas state Capitol.
To make a statement about religious freedom the Temple revealed an eight-and-a-half-foot, half-man, half-goat Baphomet statue in front of the building.
“If you’re going to have one religious monument up then it should be open to others, and if you don’t agree with that then let’s just not have any at all,” Satanic Arkansas cofounder Ivy Forrester, said at the rally.
A trial was supposed to begin last year to settle the issue but it was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.