By Bridget Sielicki
A federal judge in the Southern District of Texas has dismissed a lawsuit filed by The Satanic Temple (TST) challenging the state’s pro-life laws.
TST had filed the lawsuit on behalf of a woman called Ann Doe, claiming that abortion was necessary so that Doe could perform her “abortion rituals.” The suit asserted that laws that restrict abortion infringe on the group’s rights to freedom of religion. “The abortion ritual requires an abortion; and affirms [Doe’s] religious subscription to TST’s Third and Fifth Tenets,” the suit claimed. TST even went so far as to refer to abortion as a “sacrament.”
“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 2021 lawsuit.
In his ruling, Judge Charles Eskridge called the lawsuit’s claims “spare and unusually cryptic.” He points out that TST offers no explanation of its supposed “religious statutes,” nor does it explain the “ritual” that requires abortion or its third and fifth tenets.
“Instead, their 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,’” he wrote, adding, “Given the detail of the prior complaints and these substantial changes in the law, the deficiencies in the operative complaint are no doubt intentional.”
Arielle Del Turco, director at Family Research Council’s Center for Religious Liberty told The Washington Stand that she believes lawsuits like this one are nothing more than a publicity stunt.
“The Satanic Temple considers it a victory when they can undermine sincerely held religious beliefs by pretending their legal complaints based on ‘religious freedom’ are legitimate and deserve the same consideration given to religions like Christianity,” she said. “It’s good to see that the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas rejected The Satanic Temple’s lawsuit. People know this is a stunt, and we shouldn’t get caught up in their game.”
Editor’s note. This appeared at Live Action News and is reposted with permission.