Missouri’s mandatory abortion waiting period will head to the state Supreme Court because a Satanic Temple member alleges that the law violates religious freedoms.
The Supreme Court will hear the case after a Missouri Court of Appeals judge ruled last week in favor of Satanic Temple member Mary Doe, who argued that Missouri’s abortion law — which includes a waiting period before a woman can get an abortion — violates religious freedom, according to the Washington Post.
Doe challenged Missouri’s abortion law that requires a woman to wait three days after her initial request for an abortion and insists that she view her ultrasound as well as listen to the unborn baby’s heartbeat, on the grounds that it violates her constitutional religious rights.
The law “effectively deputizes doctors to preach the gospel according to the state of Missouri to pregnant women,” James MacNaughton, the attorney representing Doe, told WaPo on Monday.
“I look forward to vigorously defending Missouri’s sensible waiting period law from this challenge by the Satanic Temple in the Missouri Supreme Court,” Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley replied in a statement Monday.
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 violate the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act by forcing Satanists to violate their core tenets stating that a body is subject to its will alone and that beliefs should conform to scientific understanding. (Related: Satanic Temple Aligns With Planned Parenthood).
The Satanic Temple recently allied itself with Planned Parenthood in Missouri to fight against abortion restrictions. Its 2017 argument comes from their appeal of a 2015 case involving a pregnant Satanist, who unsuccessfully tried to avoid the state’s waiting period law with a religious waiver.
The court has not announced the date of the upcoming hearing.
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