Satanists claim religious exemption from anti-abortion laws

Satanists claim religious exemption from anti-abortion laws July 28, 2014

Turnabout is fair play: Satanists are using the Hobby Lobby ruling to demand religious exemptions from anti-abortion laws.

The Satanic Temple has launched a new campaign seeking a religious exemption to certain anti-abortion laws that attempt to dissuade women from ending a pregnancy. The group says they have deeply held beliefs about bodily autonomy and scientific accuracy, and those beliefs are violated by state-level “informed consent” laws that rely on misleading information about abortion risks.

Raw Story reports:

Informed consent or “right to know” laws state that women seeking elective abortions be provided with information about alternatives to the procedure, often couched in language that attempts to personify the fetus. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 35 states currently have informed consent laws, and of those, 33 require that the woman be told the gestational age of the fetus.

Friendly Atheist reports

Informed consent laws … require abortion providers to give their patients “official information” about the abortion process before they can perform the procedure. Unfortunately, these materials are not only laden with false and misleading information, but they’re usually nothing more than biased, accusatory propaganda meant to shame and scare a person out of getting an abortion.

In a statement, the Satanic Temple said that it will use the Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby decision to exempt its believers from state-mandated informed consent laws that require women considering abortions to read pro-life material. On Monday, Satanic Temple spokesperson Lucian Greaves said:

While we feel we have a strong case for an exemption regardless of the Hobby Lobby ruling, the Supreme Court has decided that religious beliefs are so sacrosanct that they can even trump scientific fact. This was made clear when they allowed Hobby Lobby to claim certain contraceptives were abortifacients, when in fact they are not. Because of the respect the Court has given to religious beliefs, and the fact that our our beliefs are based on best available knowledge, we expect that our belief in the illegitimacy of state­ mandated ‘informational’ material is enough to exempt us, and those who hold our beliefs, from having to receive them.

The Satanic Temple is a faith community that describes itself as facilitating “the communication and mobilization of politically aware Satanists, secularists, and advocates for individual liberty.”

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