Satanist group steps up efforts to blunt abortion laws in Texas, Ohio

PROVO, Utah – A “non-theistic” organization of Satanists has launched efforts to blunt abortion restrictions in Texas, Ohio and other states, including a Utah measure that would ban most abortions if the Supreme Court overturned its 1973 Roe v. Wade legalizing the procedure.

“These laws infringe our religious rights to bodily autonomy and access to scientifically valid medical information and care,” said Chalice Blythe, a clinical researcher in Tucson, Ariz., Who said she was an ordained minister of the Satanic Temple.

“We take the position that as religious individuals protected by the First Amendment and protected by the Restoration of Religious Freedom Act, we should not be subject to laws, state mandates, propaganda. and restricted access that violate our religious beliefs, ”Ms. Blythe said.

The actions taken by The Satanic Temple, headquartered in Salem, Mass., Align with those of other humanist and atheist groups who have opposed anti-abortion laws in Texas and Mississippi.

Ms. Blythe said the Satanic Temple does not worship Satan but rather sees him as “a literary metaphor”. She said members of the group claim “humanistic qualities” as motivation.

“Satan is always represented [as] loose will standing against arbitrary authority, and has always been a symbol for these things, ”she said. “We see Satan as emblematic of all of these characteristics that we hold very true to ourselves.”

Ms Blythe acknowledged that the “lens” of a group of Satanists supporting abortion rights could present a difficult picture. She said the group did not view abortion “as some kind of religious sacrament”.

The group’s website, however, claims an “abortion ritual” in which bodily autonomy is stated as a reason why the right to abortion must be protected.

Ms. Blythe said temple members “are guided by our sincere and deeply held beliefs, and those beliefs support that we have an inviolable right to make decisions about our own bodies, and that those decisions are ours alone to make.” .

In Texas, the group said its belief that his body is inviolable, subject to his own will alone “qualifies for protection under the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act and replaces Bill 8 of the State Senate, which allows citizens to sue those who perform abortions after six weeks. of pregnancy.

Ohio’s 2020 Laws Requiring Burial or Cremation of Aborted Fetal Remains Violates “Deep Temple Beliefs [that] request that fetal tissue be cremated along with other medical waste, ”according to a temple statement promising legal action.

The temple failed in its 2020 challenge to a Missouri law requiring abortion patients to receive a pamphlet stating that the procedure “will end the life of a distinct, unique, living human being.”

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit dismissed a lawsuit by Satanic Temple member Judy Doe, claiming the pamphlet violated her religious beliefs.

Ms Blythe said the group will gather outside the Utah State Capitol on Saturday to support reproductive rights as part of their religious freedom.

The Temple, which has “over 100” members in the state, is also concerned about a 2020 Utah law that would ban nearly all abortion procedures if the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

Such laws “center on what people consider to be, let’s quote, not cited, [the] “Personality” of a zygote or fetus, which is purely religious opinion, ”Ms. Blythe said.

“Satanists are guided by their religious view that personality is dictated by scientifically sound facts, as well as their own personal experiences and values. We do not conceptualize this procedure as killing a single individual who is separated from the pregnant person, ”she added.

The rally’s impact on the Utah state legislature may be limited, a state representative told the Washington Times.

“For me, and I would probably say a lot of lawmakers, it won’t have any effect,” said Republican State Representative A. Cory Maloy. “It may rally some of the pro-choice groups, [and] maybe some of our Democratic colleagues.

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