Judge dismisses Satanic Temple’s lawsuit against Indiana’s pro-life SEA 1

By Dave Andrusko

Earlier this week, federal Judge Jane Magnus Stinson dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Satanic Temple against Indiana’s strongly pro-life law. Signed by Gov. Eric Holcomb in August 2022, SEA 1 allows abortions only in cases of rape or incest, when there’s a serious risk to the life of the mother or when fatal fetal anomalies are present. Indiana was the first state in the nation to enact a sweeping pro-life law following the Dobbs decision which overturned Roe v. Wade.

“The Satanic Temple sued to force the state to allow it to provide mail-order drugs for its members in Indiana to have an abortion,” Brady Gibson reported for WISH [www.wishtv.com/news/indiana-news/federal-judge-dismisses-satanic-temple-lawsuit-over-indiana-abortion-law].

However, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita argued that the Satanic Temple didn’t have standing to sue. He pressed that it hadn’t presented evidence that there were specific members who would be harmed by the law. According to Johnny Magdaleno of the Indianapolis Star:

The Satanic Temple launched a telehealth clinic in late 2022 out of New Mexico — called “Samuel Alito’s Mom’s Satanic Abortion Clinic” — but it was never demonstrated that the clinic served its members in Indiana, according to U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Indiana Jane Magnus-Stinson’s decision Wednesday.

The Satanic Temple “failed to demonstrate that its alleged cost of compliance or threat of prosecution amounts to injury.”

“The Satanic Temple had an opportunity to submit evidence,” but it “failed on all fronts,” the judge continued.

Magdaleno explained the background to the lawsuit:

The Massachusetts-based religious association filed a lawsuit in September 2022 challenging Indiana’s newest abortion restrictions by claiming they clashed with the U.S. Constitution and the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which protects religious exercise. The Satanic Temple’s religious principles allow members to get abortions.

The lawsuit also argues Indiana’s restrictions violate the rights of Hoosier Satanists who may become pregnant if their birth control fails.

“This lawsuit was ridiculous on its face, but this court decision is important because it sustains a pro-life law that is constitutionally and legally sound,” Attorney General Rokita said. “We Hoosiers continue to build a solid culture of life whether satanic cultists like it or not.”