Texas will soon adopt new rules requiring abortion facilities to go through the medically unnecessary step of cremating or burying all fetal remains. Sanitary landfills are no longer an option. That means women who have the procedure will have to deal with a “funeral” on top of everything else they’re going through. This is what happens when anti-abortion politicians, unable to achieve their ultimate goal of banning abortions altogether, mess with women’s emotions instead.
The Satanic Temple, however, is responding by using a tactic we usually only see with the Christian Right. They’re arguing that the new funeral rule goes against their religious belief in the “inviolability of one’s body.”
“Texas health officials are baldly imposing the view that the fetal tissue is elevated to personhood — a religious opinion that conflicts with our own. If Texas is going to treat the disposal of fetal tissue differently from the disposal of any other biological material, in contradiction to our own religious beliefs, they need to present a compelling state interest for doing so. Of course, there is no such state interest, and it is obvious to everyone that the demand for fetal tissue burial is a punitive measure imposed by sadistic theocrats.” said TST spokesperson, Lucien Greaves. “These officials deem harassment an acceptable form of pushing their misguided religious agendas.”
The Satanists are essentially using the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) law to say that the state can’t compel them to do anything that violates their religious beliefs unless there’s a really good reason for it. (It’s the same argument Hobby Lobby owners successfully used to get out of providing comprehensive health insurance — including birth control — for their employees.)
The Satanic Temple used the same argument last year when fighting a Missouri law that said women had to wait 72 (unnecessary) hours between her initial appointment with a doctor to have an abortion and getting the procedure done. That lawsuit was thrown out in August, on grounds of standing, because the plaintiff was no longer pregnant.
This time, if the Satanists can finding someone who has proper standing, they’ll sue the state. Let’s hope Lucifer is on their side.