News Sep 5, 2021 7:53 PM EST

Satanists challenge Texas abortion law, argue religious freedom

"The battle for abortion rights is largely a battle of competing religious viewpoints, and our viewpoint that the nonviable fetus is part of the impregnated host is fortunately protected under Religious Liberty laws."

Satanists challenge Texas abortion law, argue religious freedom
Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

In response to the Texas Heartbeat Act which went into effect on Sept. 1, the Satanic Temple is joining in the backlash against the new abortion law.

The religious group sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration on Aug. 31, demanding a religious exemption for its Texas members to receive mifepristone and misoprostol, which are abortion-inducing drugs.

"The Satanic Abortion Ritual is a sacrament which surrounds and includes the abortive act. It is designed to combat feeling of guild, doubt, and shame and to empower the member to assert or reassert power and control over their own mind and body," the letter addressed to the FDA last week reads. "The REMS [risk evacuation and mitigation strategy] prescription requirement substantially interferes with the Satanic Abortion Ritual because the Government impedes the members' access to the medication involved in the ritual."

In the letter, the Satanic Temple cited the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which allows Native Americans to use drugs like peyote in religious ceremonies.

"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 — 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," said Lucien Greaves, the Temple's spokesman and co-founder, in a statement to the San Antonio Current.

"The battle for abortion rights is largely a battle of competing religious viewpoints, and our viewpoint that the nonviable fetus is part of the impregnated host is fortunately protected under Religious Liberty laws," Greaves added.

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