Satan will not save you


Good try, but no, I don’t think this tactic by the Satanic Temple will work.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday night allowed the state to implement a ban on the procedures after six weeks, before most women know they are pregnant, with no carve-outs for rape or incest. Until it is blocked or overturned, the law effectively nullifies the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision — which established abortion as a constitutional right — in Texas.

Enter The Satanic Temple.

The “nontheistic” organization, which is headquartered in Salem, Massachusetts, joined the legal fray this week by sending a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration demanding access to abortion pills for its members. The group has established an “abortion ritual,” and is attempting to use the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (which was created to allow Native Americans access to peyote for religious rituals) to argue that its members should be allowed access to abortion drugs like Misoprostol and Mifepristone for religious purposes.

The people who support anti-choice policies deeply and sincerely (and wrongly) believe that an abortion kills a human being. They’ll simply turn around and say we can’t allow the “abortion ritual” for the same reasons we don’t allow a “human sacrifice ritual”.

One side gaming the laws will just encourage the other side to game the laws right back. This approach also skips right over the crux of the argument: the autonomy of women. Do women have the right to control their own bodies or not? Falling back on the bogus sanctity of religious privileges does not address that at all, and further empowers the religious viewpoint that generates the problem in the first place.

Comments

  1. raven says

    They’ll simply turn around and say we can’t allow the “abortion ritual” for the same reasons we don’t allow a “human sacrifice ritual”.

    The fundie xians do in fact, allow human child sacrifice.

    They call it faith healing and it kills around a hundred or so children a year in the USA.
    They also have another human child sacrifice ritual known as “training up a child” where they beat the child to death.

  2. kathleenzielinski says

    Trial lawyer here. The wrinkle in all of this is that unless and until the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade (which I realize may happen but it hasn’t happened yet) abortion is a civil right, but only up to a point. There’s some language in Roe that, reduced to its essentials, basically says the following: At some point between conception and birth, the fetus becomes a person with the rights of a person, but nobody knows where that point is. So until viability, abortion on demand; after viability, the states have more leeway to factor in the rights of the fetus, since the further along the pregnancy is, the more likely it is that a child is being killed. Bottom line: If you are pregnant, and want an abortion, do not delay; there are lots of rights that can be lost if you wait too long, and this is one of them.

    Now, no matter what one thinks of that analysis, it is there, right in the middle of Roe. So even if the Supreme Court keeps Roe intact, that may or may not be enough. Not only with Satanism not save us, but I’m doubtful the courts will either. The solution is going to have to come from Congress. Congress needs to pass a law nationalizing abortion rights, and it needs to do so quickly.

  3. raven says

    Congress needs to pass a law nationalizing abortion rights, and it needs to do so quickly.

    Sure, correct.
    Even if they don’t have the votes, which is questionable, they need to try and if they fail, they fail.
    There is always next time.

    This doesn’t fix things very well though.
    If congress passes a law, the next congress can always repeal it.
    The last time the GOP controlled the House and Senate was a whole year and a half ago.
    Without Roe versus Wade we could just ping pong between legal abortion and female slavery/forced birthing.

    That is true of Roe versus Wade also. It the current US Supreme court kills and buries it, another court could just resurrect it. Stare decisis is also dead.

  4. kathleenzielinski says

    I didn’t say it would be an easy fix, or that eternal vigilance has stopped being the price of liberty. Just that strategically, we’ve been relying far too much on the courts. We need to do better politically.

  5. says

    Well the basic logic of the Satanic Temple’s standard tactic is that if you claim a right based on your religion — e.g. erect a cross or ten commandments monument or whatever on public property, pray in school or before the commission meeting — so can we. But yes, that fails in this case because the rationale for the Texas law isn’t explicitly religious, even though that’s what’s really behind it.

  6. says

    Relying on the courts resulted in a packed court. Baddies don’t play fair. It’s what they do. And they are ready for ultraviolence if that doean’t work.

  7. robro says

    “Viability”…what a sick joke. That’s language to prevent a woman from “frivolously” terminating a mid-to-late term pregnancy, as if that’s a reality. As I understand the circumstances for these abortions, either the fetus is not viable or the woman is it at risk of dying. In either case, “viability” is a moot point. Of course, the Texas law doesn’t provide for that circumstance.

  8. vucodlak says

    The people who support anti-choice policies deeply and sincerely (and wrongly) believe that an abortion kills a human being.

    No, they don’t. Or rather, we know these same people don’t give the tiniest shit about murdering other human beings, including children. All the available evidence demonstrates this total lack of concern for human life. They don’t care when police murder black people (again including children), and will often cheer the police on. They don’t care enough about the lives of others wear a mask to the grocery store, and they’ll get violent if confronted. They don’t care about starving and sick children in their own backyards, and will actively oppose attempts to help them.

    So even if they do believe that abortion kills a human being, their opposition cannot be based on that. Like every other instance of murder listed above, their opposition of abortion is about control. They oppose abortion because it gives someone else a measure of control over their own bodies. Abortion opponents believe that they should have absolute power over others, and that no one else should have any power at all, even over their own bodies.

  9. raven says

    Of course, the Texas law doesn’t provide for that circumstance.

    The Texas law has no exceptions for rape, incest, or sex trafficked girls and women.

    Most of the pregnancies in girls under 16 are due to rape and/or incest.
    A 13 year old pregnant girl raped by her grandfather would be forced to give birth, a recent case in Texas that ended in an abortion.

    Nonviable but alive fetuses would also have to be carried to term, even if they die immediately after birth.

  10. raven says

    Of course, the Texas law doesn’t provide for that circumstance.

    The Texas law has no exceptions for rape, incest, or sex trafficked girls and women.

    Most of the pregnancies in girls under 16 are due to rape and/or incest.
    A 13 year old pregnant girl raped by her grandfather would be forced to give birth, a recent case in Texas that ended in an abortion.

    Nonviable but alive fetuses would also have to be carried to term, even if they die immediately after birth.

  11. ORigel says

    The Satanic Temple’s Third Fundamental Tenet: One’s body is inviolable and subject to one’s own will alone. TSTers are doing this because they think bodily autonomy is a human right. I would bet money that the only TSTer who do this abortion ritual will be the plaintiff. I hope so, b/c an abortion ritual is cringy af.

  12. ORigel says

    Unfortunately, even a successful TST case cannot be the hope of Texan women b/c nearly all women are not going to become Satanists and pretend to do some stupid ritual to get a religious exemption from this law.

  13. says

    I’ve been researching the history of the anti-abortion movement for a video essay, and by FSM Fred Clark (Slacktivist) is right: Anti-abortion leaders also oppose civil rights, labor rights, and women’s rights, and it’s no coincidence that they do so. It’s a great big package of immoral policies designed to win them money and influence, and pretending that abortion is murder gives them license to advocate those policies. Given that so many of the original Protestant and evangelical anti-abortion leaders had also been defenders of segregation academies, it’s also a cynical way for them to cloak themselves in a mantle of morality after being on the wrong side of the moral test of segregation.

  14. birgerjohansson says

    Speaking of bodily autonomy for women…(going off on a tangent)
    Prince Andrew has gone off to Balmoral Castle to avoid being served sexual assault papers.
    It seems there are advantages to royal privileges.

  15. raven says

    The female slavers/forced birthers are like the dog that caught the car. Now what?
    There is a huge overlap beween the forced birthers and the white racists.
    The large majority of abortions in Texas at 70% are by nonwhites.

    The New York Times https://www.nytimes.com › 2021/09/01 › health › texas-a…

    1 day ago — Answers to Questions About the Texas Abortion Law … About 70 percent of abortions in Texas in 2019 were provided to women of color, …

    This law will accelerate the transition of Texas from white to nonwhite majority. It will hit the young, poor, and nonwhite the most. White women on average are better educated and wealthier and better able to flee Texas for medical care.
    Most of those forced birth babies are going to be nonwhite babies from nonwhite women.

    This is the main nightmare of the white racist Republicans who wrote it.
    They are now making their nightmare of white minority status come true.

  16. raven says

    C’mon, you don’t think they’re really gonna let those kids vote do you?

    I’m not even sure they are going to let them grow up.

    During the Ceausescu Romanian abortion ban, 500,000 orphans grew up in appalling circumstances. I tried to find out what happened to them. AFAICT, many or most of them ended up dead. They had high rates of HIV and Hepatitis B and C, low to nonexistent education, no socialization, poor health, and high rates of drug and alcohol addiction.

    Texas is notorious for not having much of a social safety net.

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