In a statement, the Satanic Temple said that it will use the Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby decision to exempt its believers from state-mandated informed consent laws that require women considering abortions to read pro-life material.
Informed consent or “right to know” laws state that women seeking elective abortions be provided with information about alternatives to the procedure, often couched in language that attempts to personify the fetus. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 35 states currently have informed consent laws, and of those, 33 require that the woman be told the gestational age of the fetus.
In some states, that information consists of pro-life propaganda that links abortion to a higher incidence of breast and ovarian cancers, or discusses “post-abortion syndrome,” a mental condition not recognized by any major medical or psychiatric organization.
Because the Satanic Temple bases its belief “regarding personal health…on the best scientific understanding of the world, regardless of the religious or political beliefs of others,” it claims that state-mandated information with no basis in scientific fact violates its “religious” beliefs.
I am almost tempted to get pregnant just so I can print out their handy religious-exemption letter, skip to the abortion doctor, and become a test case, laughing merrily as courts realize that Hobby Lobby protects far more religious beliefs than perhaps they dreamed. I need to form a closely held corporation first so that I can make it company policy that my employees are exempt from these stupid laws. Then I’ll need to move somewhere with those stupid anti-abortion laws. And convince this rather infertile body to conceive… crap. This could get complicated. Maybe I should leave it to the young ‘uns. Still: if you’re a woman of reproductive age in a conservative state, consider converting! It will be so much fun to watch people’s heads go asplodey when you stuff your sincerely-held religious beliefs up their noses.
And yes, I know Hobby Lobby applied to federal, not state, law. I know courts will twist themselves into pretzels to say why it’s different when Satanists (or Hindus, or Muslims, or pagans) want their slice of the religious freedom pie. But it’s a great way to force the law to either live up to the First Amendment or show themselves as hypocritical asshats who will be overturned by future, saner courts. It’s a beautiful means by which to show people what religious freedom really means. And it makes it much harder for theocrats to force their theocracy on the unwilling when they, in turn, find they’ve left themselves open for having a disliked sort of theocracy forced upon them. I’m behind the Satanic Temple in this effort all the way.
Besides, I’ve always had a soft spot for the ol’ Prince of Lies. I always wondered if he might not be the good guy after all. And, should you wish to consider some theological points with me, here are some memes to ponder.