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Satanic Temple Fights Texas Fetal Burial Rule

Satanic Temple Fights Texas Fetal Burial Rule December 3, 2016

Satanic Temple fights back after Christian extremists mandate funeral services for fetuses.

The Satanic Temple says new rule in Texas mandating fetal remains be cremated or buried violates their religious freedom.

In a move meant to penalize and stigmatize women and abortion providers, Texas approved new rules requiring health care facilities that perform abortions to bury or cremate fetal remains instead of disposing of them in a sanitary landfill like other forms of biological medical waste.

The new rules requiring the cremation or burial of fetal remains will take effect Dec. 19, according to state health officials.

In response to the new mandate, The Satanic Temple is claiming immunity from any rules requiring funeral services for fetuses.

Jezebel reports:

… the Satanic Temple sees the whole thing for what it is: a naked bid to elevate fetal tissue to the status of a human being. In a press release, Satanic Temple spokesperson Lucien Greaves called the new rules, which go into effect December 19, “a direct violation” of the group’s religious beliefs.

In a statement the Satanic Temple declared the new rules violate their religious beliefs:

The Satanic Temple (TST), an international religious organization headquartered in Salem, Massachusetts, has declared immunity for its members from the Texas rule requiring the cremation or burial of fetal remains that is slated to go into effect on December 19th. One of The Satanic Temple’s fundamental tenets is the inviolability of one’s body. As such, TST affirms that this rule violates their religious beliefs and their members may refuse to adhere.

On their website the group notes:

The Satanic Temple believes burial rites are a well-established component of religious practice. This is undisputed in the entirety of US legal history. In addition, members of The Satanic Temple believe in the inviolability of the body and, as such, these rules contradict our fundamental beliefs. The First Amendment protects our right to practice our beliefs, and under the Religious Freedom Reform Act (RFRA), the State must present a compelling reason for why they want to enforce rules that inhibit adherence to our religious practices. Clearly, the State of Texas has no compelling reason because these rules were not enacted to promote health and safety, but rather to harass and burden women who terminate their pregnancies.

For these reasons, members of The Satanic Temple are not required to comply with the Texas rule on fetal remains. Nevertheless, we will require legal support to protect the rights of our members.

In other words, if Texas tries to impose the new rule on a member of their organization, the Satanic Temple will sue.

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.

Bottom Line

The new rules in Texas represent the desires of despicable religious extremist to punish women who have abortions and their abortion providers. The rules have nothing to do with public safety. They are instead yet another attempt by religious conservatives to shame and humiliate women seeking an abortion, while punishing abortion providers with onerous and unnecessary rules and restrictions.  

As such, the Satanic Temple deserves credit for fighting back against obnoxious Christian extremists in Texas who wish to penalize and stigmatize women and abortion providers.

Baphomet Statue (Image via Satanic Temple)
Baphomet Statue (Image via Satanic Temple)

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