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Flickr/Marc Nozell/Baphomet
satanic-temple-baphomet-thumb.jpg
Flickr/Marc Nozell/Baphomet
USA News

Satanic Temple seeks religious exemption from Texas abortion restrictions

by Premier Journalist

The Satanic Temple, a group identifying as Satanists, is trying to challenge the Texas Abortion ban by filing for religious exemptions.

Last week, the legal experts for the Satanic Temple filed a letter to the Food and Drug Administration requesting that adherents of their organization receive access to abortion-causing medicines based on their faith-based rights as members. Specifically, the Temple is pointing to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) which allowed select parties access to regulated medicinal products if they are used for faith-based purposes. The organization claims that adherents from the Temple "affirm their religious rights of bodily autonomy and scientifically personal choice" by having abortions. "[The Satanic Temple] has every desire to ensure the health and safety of its membership… the issue is with governmental control over whether TST's membership can obtain access to these drugs" wrote the Temple's legal counsel.

"I am sure Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton – who famously spends a good deal of his time composing press releases about religious liberty issues in other states," writes Satanic Temple spokesperson Lucian Graves. "will be proud to see that Texas’s robust religious liberty laws, which he so vociferously champions, will prevent future Abortion Rituals from being interrupted by superfluous government restrictions meant only to shame and harass those seeking an abortion."

The Satanic Temple was founded in 2013 by Greaves and his partner Malcolm Jarry as an attempt to make a Satanic faith-based organization using the criteria provided by the Bush administration. Both of its founders identify as atheists, and the organization has often advocated for progressive ideologies and against religion-based policy through satire and mockery.

In 2014, the organization was able to crowdfund and unveil a statue of Baphomet, the goat-headed occult figure, in an attempt to protest public displays of the Ten Commandments.

 

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