The Satanic Temple issued a statement last Saturday threatening to file a lawsuit against the state of Texas over new regulations which require abortion providers to either bury or cremate aborted babies. According to the religious organization, “the new rules violate our religious beliefs because it promotes the idea of ‘fetal personhood.'”
Texas’ Department of Health and Human Services approved the new regulations last month saying it will take effect on 19 December.
Following the online publication on Saturday, the Satanic Temple based in Salem, Massachusetts, released a statement on its website protesting the new rule.
According to the temple, burial rites are a “well-established component of religious practice” and should not be made to conflict with religious freedom rights granted by the First Amendment.
“For these reasons, members of The Satanic Temple are not required to comply with the Texas rule on fetal remains,” the statement said. “Nevertheless, we will require legal support to protect the rights of our members.”
Apart from what they see as a violation of their inalienable rights, followers of the Satanic Temple are atheists who believe “one’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.”
They believe Texas’ new abortion laws contradict their fundamental beliefs.
“Clearly, the State of Texas has no compelling reason because these rules were not enacted to promote health and safety, but rather to harass and burden women who terminate their pregnancies,” the statement read.
Here is the complete statement:
TEXAS RULE ON FETAL REMAINS THE SATANIC TEMPLE RELIGIOUS DEFENSE OF REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS
The Texas Department of Health and Human Services plans to enforce new rules that require that fetal tissue must be buried or cremated and can no longer be disposed of in sanitary landfills as they are in every other state.
The Satanic Temple believes burial rites are a well-established component of religious practice. This is undisputed in the entirety of US legal history.
In addition, members of The Satanic Temple believe in the inviolability of the body and, as such, these rules contradict our fundamental beliefs.
The First Amendment protects our right to practice our beliefs, and under the Religious Freedom Reform Act (RFRA), the State must present a compelling reason for why they want to enforce rules that inhibit adherence to our religious practices.
Clearly, the State of Texas has no compelling reason because these rules were not enacted to promote health and safety, but rather to harass and burden women who terminate their pregnancies.
For these reasons, members of The Satanic Temple are not required to comply with the Texas rule on fetal remains.
Nevertheless, we will require legal support to protect the rights of our members.
Read more at thesatanictemple.com and religiousreproductiverights.com #thesatanictemple #religiousreproductiverights
Abortion laws in the United States, have created divisions among politicians and religious organizations. It hasn’t been this hostile in decades.
In Texas and a few other states, hundreds of clinics are closing down as “Conservative politicians have passed nearly 300 abortion restrictions in the past five years.”
Worse still, reproductive healthcare providers—Planned Parenthood in particular—have witnessed threats, experienced violence, and the harassment continues.
According to a report from Texas Tribune, the new law says all hospitals, abortion clinics and other health care facilities should henceforth desist from disposing of aborted fetal remains in sanitary landfills.
Reports confirm that all affected persons or establishments are currently allowed to either incinerate or ground the materials until they are rendered unrecognizable and disposed of in a sanitary landfill.
Women who have abortions or miscarriages at home will not be affected by the new law.