Satanic Temple files lawsuit against Idaho over abortion ban, claiming it prevents members from practicing "abortion ritual"
The Satanic Temple is suing Idaho in federal court over the state's abortion ban
, claiming that the ban infringes on the rights of members who may want to practice the organization's "abortion ritual."
Following the overturning of Roe v. Wade, Idaho's trigger law regarding abortions came into effect
. It banned nearly all abortions, with exceptions for rape, incest and to save the life of the mother, and it also triggered a civil enforcement law allowing family members to file lawsuits against medical providers who performed abortions on their kin.
The Satanic Temple in Salem, Massachusetts, is asking the court for an injunction to block these laws.
"Our members hold a sincere religious belief that they can and should have an abortion" in cases of unwanted pregnancies, claimed W. James Mac Naughton, one of the attorneys representing the Satanic Temple. (Related: Update: Abortion as religious liberty: Pro-abortion organizations agree with Satanic Temple claim that "abortion ritual" represents "religious freedom."
In the lawsuit, the organization noted that it has a religious ritual known as the "Satanic abortion ritual
." This process includes a person reminding themselves that their body is inviolate and then, while undergoing the abortion procedure, reciting a personal affirmation. The abortion ban therefore violates the state's Exercise of Religious Freedom Act.
"There are less restrictive means of furthering the state's asserted interests served by the Idaho Abortion Bans than banning the Satanic Abortion Ritual," read the complaint.
Scott Graff, spokesman for Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, refused to comment on the lawsuit because the office has a policy against making statements regarding pending litigation.
The Satanic Temple has filed similar "religious freedom" lawsuits against the abortion laws of Indiana and Texas. Mac Naughton has also not ruled out the possibility that the temple will file additional lawsuits in one of the other states that have restricted or banned abortion following the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
Satanic Temple claims uterus is a "private property"
According to the Satanic Temple's complaint, its more than 1.5 million members, including more than 3,500 who reside in Idaho, have a sincerely held religious belief that a person's body is subject to their own will alone and that a person's beliefs should conform to their best scientific understanding of the world. One of the temple's tenets also claimed that the freedom of others should be respected.
Attorneys representing the Satanic Temple argued that the uterus of an "involuntarily pregnant woman" is a physical thing to which property rights apply. They said the uterus is a property because eggs can be retained or removed; the uterus itself can be removed for any purpose; and it can be rented to a third party as a gestational carrier under a surrogacy agreement.
The attorneys then argued that the involuntarily pregnant women of the organization have the right to remove a "protected unborn child" from their uterus and that this "property right" can't be violated by the state without just compensation according to the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution.
The temple added that pregnant women must provide the unborn with hormones, oxygen, nutrients, antibodies, body heat and protection from external shocks and intrusions. All of these are services that an involuntarily pregnant woman would be forced to provide under the abortion law.
"The Idaho abortion bans provide no compensation or consideration to an involuntarily pregnant woman for providing the services necessary to sustain the life of a protected unborn child that occupies and uses her uterus," read the complaint.
Read more news about abortion at Abortions.news
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as Harrison Smith talks about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's position that abortion is an economic issue
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