Satanists are citing Hobby Lobby in an attempt to exempt female followers from abortion laws that they view as a violation of their "sincerely held religious beliefs," launching a recent campaign to advance the pro-choice cause.
The Satanic Temple in New York, New York, is using the Supreme Court's recent Hobby Lobby decision to seek a religious exemption from informed consent laws — regulations on the books in states across the nation that require doctors to give information to patients seeking an abortion.
"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," reads a press release announcing the group's campaign.
It continues: "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."
To remedy the situation, the Satanic Temple has drafted a letter for women seeking an abortion, which rails against informed consent and demands that doctors respect a religiously motivated exemption.
The letter to health care professionals specifically details some of the tenets of The Satanic Temple, outlining why women presenting the text want to opt-out of informed consent laws.
"My body is inviolable and subject to my will alone," text of the letter reads in part. "I make any decision regarding my health based on the best scientific understanding of the world, even if the science does not comport with the religious or political beliefs of others."
The letter goes on to decry the "political information" that is offered during informed consent, claiming that it "offends … sincerely held religious beliefs." The organization is encouraging women to print the text and present it to doctors in an effort to skirt current abortion laws, which vary by state.
Satanic Temple spokesman Lucien Graves claims that the recent Hobby Lobby ruling offers corroboration for such an exemption, as the high court decided "that religious beliefs are so sacrosanct that they can even trump scientific fact."
A screen shot from the Satanic Temple website.
Graves referenced Hobby Lobby's contraceptive battle over the company's belief that certain forms of birth control are "abortifacients," meaning that instead of merely preventing pregnancy, they cause abortion.
"Because of the respect the [Supreme] 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," he said.
The organization said that this is the first in a series of new women's health initiatives that the group will launch.
The Satanic Temple, which does not believe the devil to be real and instead "advocates for religious tolerance and pluralism," made headlines earlier this year with plans to put a satanic monument on the Oklahoma state capitol grounds.
(H/T: Huffington Post)