The always-thinking Satanic Temple has an intriguing strategy for women to escape the draconian restrictions of the new Texas abortion law: take an abortion-inducing drug as an expression of religious freedom in a faith-based rite.
A lawyer for the Massachusetts-based temple sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration earlier this week to request that the church be allowed access without prescription to the abortion-inducing drugs mifepristone and misoprostol as part of its “sacramental” abortion ritual. He compared employing the drugs to the use of peyote in certain Native American rituals allowed under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
For the temple, bodily autonomy and science are sacrosanct, and the abortion ritual is an important expression of those beliefs, explained temple co-founder Lucien Greaves.
“The battle for abortion rights is largely a battle of competing religious viewpoints, and our viewpoint that the nonviable fetus is part of the impregnated host is fortunately protected under Religious Liberty,” he added in a statement.
The temple website features a message to Texans seeking a way around the new state law that bans abortion after just six weeks, before most people even know they’re pregnant. The Supreme Court voted 5-4 Wednesday not to immediately block the law, which erodes constitutionally protected rights detailed almost a half-century ago in Roe v. Wade.
“The Satanic Temple stands ready to assist any member that shares its deeply-held religious convictions regarding the right to reproductive freedom,” the organisation noted on its website.
“Accordingly, we encourage any member who resides in Texas and wishes to undergo the Satanic Abortion Ritual within the first 24 weeks of pregnancy to contact The Satanic Temple so we may help them fight this law directly,” it added.
The temple defiantly concluded: “We will not be cowed into silence by an unjust law or a tyrannical state government.”
The group would do everything necessary to assure the administration of the medication is safe, the temple lawyer assured the FDA, including a medical examination to determine that there are no “contraindications” to taking the drug.
The temple — which defines itself as “nontheistic” and its mission as confronting religious discrimination to “secure the separation of church and state and defend the Constitutional rights of its members” — is one of a number of actors emerging to battle the new abortion law, the most restrictive in the nation.
A TikTok activist has come up with a way to use bots to overwhelm a reporting system targeting women getting abortions in Texas.
The CEO of the Dallas-based Match dating-app company is establishing a fund for Texas workers who need to leave the state for an abortion. And Austin-based Bumble is funding six organizations fighting for reproductive rights.