A Satanic Temple member filed a lawsuit against Missouri, alleging the state’s legislation violates her religious beliefs when local law requires women wait 72 hours after a doctor visit before aborting.
Temple member and Missouri resident “Judy Doe” filed her Feb. 28 lawsuit after trying to get an abortion in St. Louis, according to court documents the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Doe claims the law violates her religious beliefs and religious freedom because she, as a satanist, doesn’t think life begins at conception. She is the third Satanic Temple member to file a lawsuit charging Missouri’s abortion waiting period law is unconstitutional.
Missouri law mandates women allow 72 hours after seeing a doctor for their consultation before they can have an abortion. The legislation also asks abortion-seeking women to read a brochure advertising life begins at conception and also gives women the opportunity to view an ultrasound and listen to their baby’s heartbeat.
Missouri’s abortion laws are “a bald theocratic imposition of abortion restrictions,” Satanic Temple spokesperson Lucien Greaves said, according to the Post-Dispatch. (RELATED: Supreme Court Hears Satanic Temple Abortion Case In Missouri)
The state contends life starting at conception is not a religious belief rather a philosophy and thus does not violate Doe’s theological principles. State attorneys also posit Missouri is not forcing Doe to let go of her convictions simply by asking for her adherence to the state’s informed consent laws.
The Satanic Temple also filed a lawsuit against Scottsdale, Ariz., last Friday, alleging Scottsdale’s city council actively sought to discriminate against Satanists via preventing them from offering invocations before council meetings. (RELATED: Satanic Temple Sues Arizona City Over Alleged Discrimination)
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 Greaves. Satanic Temple members insist Missouri’s abortion laws forces Satanists to violate core tenets stating a body is subject to its will alone and beliefs should conform to scientific understanding, which they claim violates the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
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