By Ashlynn Lemos
A federal court in Texas dismissed a lawsuit from The Satanic Temple, which claimed the state’s Pro-Life laws violate its religious freedom. The judge called Satanists’ arguments “willfully inadequate and deficient.”
As Texas passed more and more legislation protecting babies from abortion, The Satanic Temple (TST) took action to fight against abortion restrictions. Satanists invented an “abortion ritual,” claiming that killing preborn children is a religious rite for Satanists. They compared it to a baptism or communion for Christians, being something that is essential to its religion.
TST claims that aborting unborn babies is a beloved and essential “ritual,” and laws that prohibit it infringe on their First Amendment right to practice their religion. Even Texas law requiring informed consent is a problem, interrupting their ceremonial duties.
An “Ann Doe” member of the temple brought the lawsuit, in hopes of it advancing to the Supreme Court of the United States.
This specific lawsuit has been phrased differently than any other one TST has filed in other states.
The Satanic Temple alleged that the reason their abortion ritual must be very precise, and not influenced by the Texas law, is because these ceremonies allow for members to “cast off guilt, shame and mental discomfort that the member may be experiencing in connection with their election to abort the pregnancy” and “confirms the member’s choice and wards off effects of unjust persecution.” TST did not appreciate being challenged by state informed consent laws requiring a waiting period and that the mother be given the opportunity to hear her baby’s heartbeat and see its image on the ultrasound screen.
“The Satanic Abortion Ritual is a sacrament which surrounds and includes the abortive act. It is designed to combat feelings of guilt, doubt, and shame and to empower the member to assert or reassert power and control over their own mind and body,” TST wrote in its original lawsuit.
The Satanic Temple argued:
“The abortion ritual (1) requires an abortion; and (2) affirms [Ms. Doe’s] religious subscription to [The Satanic Temple’s] Third and Fifth Tenets. But before Ms. Doe can get her abortion – and therefore participate in the abortion ritual – the government has required that she get a sonogram … [These] requirements substantially interfere with Ms. Doe’s religious beliefs and practices for two reasons. First, the requirements are a precondition to Ms. Doe’s ability to participate in a religious ceremony. It is a substantial interference per se for the state to place a regulatory hurdle – one that costs money – in front of a religious exercise. The state might as well tax and regulate [Catholic] Mass.”
Judge Charles Eskridge, of the Southern District of Texas in Houston, didn’t buy it.
Eskridge blasted Satanists’ suit as “spare and unusually cryptic.” The judge continued that TST did not give sufficient information on how Texas laws protecting the unborn had a direct impact on its “belief structure.”
Prior to filing this lawsuit, an attorney for TST sent a letter to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission on behalf of Ann Doe seeking exemption from certain Texas abortion laws as a devout Satanic Temple member. TST claimed Doe was distressed because of her inability to end the life of her preborn child in accordance with the “religious ritual.” TST then sued the Texas Health and Human Services commissioner.
Judge Eskridge said it is “unknown” why TST chose to sue the commissioner because it did not demonstrate how she is involved in the enforcement of the complaint in the case. He asked, “How, when, why, and in what way did she apply them to Plaintiffs?”
“[Satanists’] broad and conclusory allegations are devoid of actual facts, at most offering ‘labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action,’” Eskridge continued.
Judge Eskridge said these deficiencies in The Satanic Temple’s lawsuit are “no doubt intentional” and in “bad faith” (no pun intended).
All of this led to the dismissal of the Satanists’ case over Texas Pro-Life laws. However, this is not the end of Satanists’ attacks on preborn children. Their hatred of the Creator leads to a hatred of His creation.
The Satanic Temple recently made its own abortion clinic that mails abortion-inducing drugs, provides abortion information and resources across the nation, and pledged to bring pregnant women from other states to its clinic in New Mexico when possible.
The protection of life to them is an inconvenience because of their ceremonial love for shedding the innocent blood of children in the name of Satan.
Satanists describe the Pro-Life views of Christians to be self-deprecating to women. However, the truth is, choosing Life is empowering to both the woman and the growing life within her! As believers, we not only value the birth of the baby, but the future of both the mother and child. This is true empowerment!
Over the years, The Satanic Temple, along with other pro-abortionists, have tried anything they could to stop any Pro-Life advancements. However, this is another testimony of God’s favor and protection over Life in Texas!