NEW YORK — A prominent Satanist organization is using the recent Supreme Court decision in favor of the popular craft chain Hobby Lobby to ‘bolster’ an initiative that it has concocted to seek an exemption from pro-life laws that they say violate their religious beliefs.
As previously reported, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision last month that the federal government cannot force closely-held companies to obey regulations which violate the owners’ religious beliefs. The ruling was a victory for the Christian owners of Hobby Lobby, who objected to Obama’s abortion pill mandate on the basis of their religious beliefs. Hobby Lobby has been providing birth control coverage to employees for years, but took issue with four contraceptives that it considered to be abortifacients.
The Satanic Temple in New York is now using Supreme Court decision as what it calls “leverage” to “bolster” its own initiatives, which seeks an exemption from informed consent abortion laws. The regulation, which is mandated in some states but not all, requires that expectant mothers receive information surrounding abortion before proceeding with ending the life of their unborn child.
The organization states that some believe that the material presented to women provides “biased and false information … in a bald effort at dissuading them from abortions.” It specifically asserts that the link between abortion and breast cancer, as well as the existence of depressive post-abortive syndrome, are “‘scientifically unfounded’ and ‘medically invalid’ and therefore an affront to their religious beliefs.”
The Satanic Temple furthermore contends that obtaining the information violates the group’s religious beliefs, as “[t]he Satanic Temple believes that the body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone” and that it seeks “to make all decisions regarding personal health based on the best scientific understanding of the world, regardless of the religious or political beliefs of others.”
It cites the Hobby Lobby ruling as the basis for its assertion that it should be granted an exemption from the law.
“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,” Satanic Temple spokesperson Lucien Graves stated in a press release this week.
“All women who share our deeply held belief that all their personal choices should be made with access to the best available information, undiluted by biased or false information, are free to seek protection with this exemption whether they are members of The Satanic Temple or not,” he said. “We merely contend that we are in a unique position to argue the merits of this belief, as it is
fundamental to our religious philosophy.”
The organization has written a letter for mothers that are seeking an abortion to present in requesting an exemption from the law. ABC News reports that The Satanic Temple is offering to file a lawsuit against those that refuse to provide the exemption in “violation of [the woman’s] religious liberty.”
“This was inevitable,” Cardozo School of Law professor Marci Hamilton told the outlet. “This is following exactly on that line of thinking that a regulation that impedes the ability of the believer to practice that religion is going to be challenged.”
As previously reported, The Satanic Temple is also behind a proposed “homage to Satan” at the Oklahoma State Capitol, which it seeks to place near an existing Ten Commandments monument on the capitol building grounds.