Standing up for women, the Satanic Temple fights Ohio’s fetal heartbeat bill, which would effectively ban abortion if signed into law.
Once again the Satanic Temple challenges Christian extremists determined to rob women of their right to bodily autonomy and safe, legal abortion services.
Earlier this month Ohio lawmakers passed a controversial “Heartbeat Bill” that would ban abortions in that state from the moment the heartbeat of a fetus can be detected — which usually occurs about six weeks into a pregnancy.
In essence, the bill would effectively ban all abortion in the state of Ohio, without exception for rape or incest. If signed into law by Gov. John Kasich, physicians could face a year in prison if they perform an abortion after a heartbeat is detected or if they fail to check for one before a procedure.
In a press release, the Satanic Temple claims Ohio’s Fetal Heartbeat Bill is a violation of their religious liberties, and declares members of the Temple exempt from the draconian legislation if it is signed into law:
Last week, both houses of the Ohio Legislature passed a controversial “Fetal Heartbeat Bill” that would ban abortion, without exception for rape and incest, 6 weeks into pregnancy — often before many women even know that they are pregnant. The Satanic Temple (TST), a non-theistic religious community widely recognized for challenging attacks against Church/State separation, is already claiming exemption from the Bill should it be signed into law by Ohio Governor John Kasich.
Temple spokesperson Lucien Greaves explains:
To us, the heartbeat is irrelevant to the claim of personhood. We do not advocate for a belief in the soul, therefore we feel that complex cerebral functions necessary for perception are what makes a person a person. The non-viable fetus (a fetus that cannot survive outside the woman’s body) is, we feel, a part of the woman’s own body, and it is her choice whether or not she continues the pregnancy.
Our tenets assert bodily autonomy and uphold Science as the arbiter of claims over what is true, to which we give deference in our decisions. As the Ohio Bill is imposed for no medical purpose and presents no compelling state interest, it is simply a violation of our free exercise, we will fight back against it, and we will very likely prevail.
(For the record, the Satanic Temple does not promote the worship of Satan, or any other imaginary deity. Instead, the group utilizes satanic imagery to promote egalitarianism, social justice, and the separation of church and state.)
The Satanic Temple is not alone in opposing Ohio’s odious anti-abortion bill. In fact, most abortion rights advocates note the Ohio fetal heartbeat measure is the most extreme abortion restriction in the country because the legislation would effectively ban the procedure before most women even realize they’re pregnant.
Bottom line: Once again the Satanic Temple deserves credit for fighting back against dangerous Christian extremists who wish to deny women their constitutional right to a safe and legal abortion.