The Satanic Temple Has Joined The Fight To Keep Abortion Legal
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The Satanic Temple has become an unlikely ally for women's rights activists, with the group working to ensure abortion stays legal.
Today (3 May), a draft report was leaked that suggests the US Supreme Court intends to overturn Roe v Wade, which set a legal precedent that women in the US had a fundamental right to choose whether to have an abortion, based on their constitutional right to privacy.
While it is unclear whether the leaked report reflects the Supreme Court's final decision on the matter, an unlikely source of support for women's rights has emerged.
Enter, the Satanic Temple.
The Satanic Temple has long been pro-choice, even launching a lawsuit in 2021 that argued against the Texas law requiring a medically unnecessary sonograms and a 24-hour waiting period for an abortion.
What made the temple's lawsuit interesting is that instead of arguing women should have access to abortions based on a constitutional right to privacy, they argued that the Texas law infringed on the first amendment right to freedom of expression and belief.
The temple is essentially arguing that abortion restrictions go against the tenets of its religion, which promotes bodily autonomy and acting in accordance with scientific evidence.
As the temple's website noted: "Consistent with our tenets that call for bodily autonomy and acting in accordance with best scientific evidence, The Satanic Temple religiously objects to many of the restrictions that states have enacted that interfere with abortion access.
"TST is taking many steps on behalf of our members and those who share our beliefs to establish exemptions from laws that do not promote the health and safety of patients and violate our conscience and beliefs."
As reported by The New Statesman, Matthew Kezhaya, a lawyer for the Satanic Temple, further stressed the importance of the case, arguing: "The reason this is important is because right now there are six out of nine judges on the Supreme Court who don’t like abortion, but they really like free exercise of religion and free speech.
"What we are saying is if the two-hour waiting period kept somebody from attending mass and drinking the wine in a sacrament, it would prevent people from practising their religion. That law wouldn’t stand a chance with this [Supreme] Court. We are arguing that for the Satanic Temple, abortion is a religious right. We just want equal treatment."
Given the potential infringement on women's rights if Roe v Wade is overturned, arguments like the one presented by the temple could become far more necessary.
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