Satanic Temple To Challenge Texas Abortion Law Citing Religious Freedoms

Satanic Temple co-founder Lucien Graves criticized Texas Attorney General General Ken Paxton following the Lone Star state’s new abortion law – The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Satanic Temple is challenging the recently enacted abortion restrictions in Texas, claiming religious freedoms give them the ability to legally end the life of an unborn human past a detected heartbeat.

Followers of the religion said on its website that it stands “ready to assist” any of its members who want to violate the law.  The Temple has lobbied the state for an exemption to the law under its own religious freedom law — Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act (TRFRA).

The organization also reportedly lobbied the FDA to provide abortion pills to its Texas members, claiming that as a faith-based group the Satanists would gain religious exemption regarding the law.

Texas’ new anti-abortion law bans virtually all abortions once a “fetal heartbeat” is detected — which usually occurs at around six weeks in pregnancy.

It also allows private citizens to sue those who perform or aid in abortion – offering a reward of up to $10,000 for successful cases.

Abortion rights supporters gather to protest Texas’ abortion law in front of Edinburg City Hall on Sept. 1, 2021.
Abortion rights supporters gather to protest Texas’ abortion law in front of Edinburg City Hall on Sept. 1, 2021. – AP

The Temple, which pledges to “generate attention and prompt people to reevaluate fears and perceptions,” and “highlight religious hypocrisy and encroachment on religious freedom,” reportedly cited the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which allows some American Indians to use certain drugs 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,” Satanic Temple co-founder Lucien Graves reportedly said.

The unusual religious group has been known to challenge pro-life legislation in the past, with the Temple previously having petitioned the US Supreme Court to overturn abortion law in Missouri.