Satanists Seek Hobby Lobby Exemption from Informed Consent Abortion Laws

Barbara Boland
By Barbara Boland | July 28, 2014 | 3:23 PM EDT

The Satanic Temple announced today that it wants its believers to be exempted from reading state-mandated materials and informed consent laws when expectant women try to receive an abortion, and they cited the recent Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision as a basis for their exemption.

In a statement released today, The Satanic Temple states:

Informed consent bills ­­ requiring abortion providers to give their patients official "informational" material regarding the procedure ­­ have been criticized in the past for providing biased and false information to women in a bald effort at dissuading them from abortions. Such materials have included claims of a link between abortion and breast cancer, as well as claims regarding a depressive "post­abortion syndrome," both of which The Satanic Temple view as "scientifically unfounded" and "medically invalid" and therefore an affront to their religious beliefs. While The Satanic Temple (TST) are not the first organization to criticize the state­mandated abortion materials as false and/or biased, they are the first to offer an exemption from such materials on religious grounds.

"While we feel we have a strong case for an exemption regardless of the Hobby Lobby ruling, the Supreme Court has decided that religious beliefs are so sacrosanct that they can even trump scientific fact. This was made clear when they allowed Hobby Lobby to claim certain contraceptives were abortifacients, when in fact they are not. 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 state­mandated 'informational' material is enough to exempt us, and those who hold our beliefs, from having to receive them."

The Satanic Temple directs women to a website where they can print out a letter (or buy a t-shirt) that explains they have a "right to accurate medical information." The page also includes a request for non-tax-deductible donations (so far, they've raised $0) because they need money: "to help support our legal challenges to laws that interfere with our religious practices."

According to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, there are 35 states that require some kind of counseling before a woman can receive an abortion - 27 states detail specific information the woman must receive, and 26 states also have a waiting period (usually 24 hours) from the time the woman receives the information to the time she can abort. "Nearly all states that require counseling require information about the abortion procedure and fetal development."

But, according to the Satanists, this information violates their religious beliefs.

Spokesman Lucien Greaves from The Satanic Temple had this to add: "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. 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."


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