Planned Parenthood’s New Best Friend: The Satanic Temple

By Dave Andrusko

(Image via The Satanic Temple)

I already knew that a lot of people and organizations on the other side keep track of what we write at NRL News Today. Even so, my head snapped back last week when I received an email that began

I hope this email finds you well. I’m writing because I thought you might be interested to know that The Satanic Temple’s abortion lawsuit in Missouri has moved forward in both the Federal and State courts.

Referring to upcoming oral arguments (one of which subsequently took place earlier this week), the representative of The Satanic Temple informed me

This landmark case seeks to demonstrate how the Missouri “informed consent” law and mandatory 72-hour waiting period promotes the States religious viewpoint regarding the beginning of life, and punishes women who do not agree with this viewpoint, a violation of the Establishment and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.

We’re all aware that politics makes for strange bedfellows, but get a look at this Slate headline on a story written by Christina Cauterucci: “Abortion Access in Missouri is Getting Easier, Thanks to Planned Parenthood and Satanists.”

In case you are wondering how this all relates to The Satanic Temple, bear with me a minute.

NRL News Today has written dozens of posts about abortion in Missouri, specifically how enormously pro-life the state is, and how a federal judge has taken it upon himself to gut protective state laws passed overwhelmingly by the legislature. We ran just such a post yesterday.

Cauterucci is positively giddy at the prospects of the tandem of Planned Parenthood and The Satanic Temple chiseling fissures in the solid block of protective Missouri state laws.

This found on the Satanic Temple’s webpage shows indeed they have found common cause:

The Satanic Temple (TST) supports personal choice in the context of abortion and, as part of a multi-faceted Women’s Rights campaign, TST is offering religious exemptions from arbitrary, insulting, and outright harmful anti-abortion legislation that has been steadily encroaching across the nation.

Thomas D. Williams put this policy statement into context in a thoughtful rejoinder.

On Monday, the Satanic Temple argued in a Missouri court that the state’s abortion restrictions violate members’ rights to free religious practice. The organization challenged two Missouri laws: one that requires patients to look at anti-abortion literature and another that obliges them to wait 72 hours between their initial consultations and second appointments for their abortions.

Satanic Temple members have argued that their religion prizes rational, independent thought and that forcing Satanists to read anti-abortion pamphlets and “consider a religious proposition with which they do not agree” during the 72-hour waiting period constitutes a violation of their beliefs.

Another fawning piece from Think Progress, another pro-abortion group, concluded with admiration for how a tiny fringe group has learned to attract inordinate amounts of attention:

The Satanic Temple has used social media, its eye-catching name, and images such as Baphomet, the “sabbatic goat,” to attract considerable media attention to its lawsuits. According to a 2015 New York Times profile of the organization, which was reportedly created by two people who had a “shared distaste for organized religion,” the Satanic Temple “has in three years achieved the kind of social media exposure usually reserved for pets in distress.”