US

Satanist Group And Pro-Life Org Are Battling Over An Abortion Waiting Period Law

The Thomas More Society (TMS) filed an amicus brief on Friday, arguing that Missouri’s abortion waiting period law is not only constitutional but also that the law is rooted in science rather than religion.

Their brief, filed in Jefferson City on behalf of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists and Missouri Right to Life, comes after a Missouri Satanist had an abortion and sued the state to strike down its abortion waiting period law, alleging that the law was religiously based and posed an undue burden on women seeking abortions. The Thomas More Society however, argues that the Missouri law has objective scientific evidence supporting it.

Missouri law requires women to wait 72 hours after seeing a doctor for their consultation before they can have an abortion. The “Satanic Temple” member, however, claims that the law violates her religious beliefs and religious freedom because she, as a satanist, doesn’t think life begins at conception. The law “effectively deputizes doctors to preach the gospel according to the state of Missouri to pregnant women,” James MacNaughton, the attorney representing Doe, said of the state’s law according to US News. (Related: Satanists Take Abortion Law To Missouri Supreme Court).

“The question of when life begins is a scientific question, not a religious one. It is an observable scientific fact that the life of a new, genetically distinct organism of the human species begins at conception,” wrote  TMS Counsel’s attorney Thomas Olp in the amicus brief. “The abortion waiting period and consent requirements dictated by Mo. Rev. Stat. § 188.027 are based on verifiable scientific facts.”

“She erroneously claims that it is a matter of religious opinion that abortion ‘will terminate the life of a separate, unique, living human being.’ In fact, none of these are religious or political claims, but established scientific facts,” Olp continued, adding that the woman’s claims are “fundamentally confused,” according to the brief.

The Satanic Temple doesn’t think Satan actually exists but believes Satan is symbolic of a call to fight against tyrannical forces, according to Satanic Temple co-founder, Lucien Greaves. Satanic Temple members insist that Missouri’s abortion laws forces Satanists to violate core tenets stating that a body is subject to its will alone and that beliefs should conform to scientific understanding, which they claim violates the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act. (Related: Satanic Temple Aligns With Planned Parenthood).

The case will now head to Missouri’s Supreme Court after passing through the Missouri Court of Appeals Western District. The Thomas More Society told the DCNF on Monday that they received word the Missouri Supreme Court will not accept any additional court briefings and will use appellate level filings only.

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