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Satanic Temple Files Lawsuit Against Indiana — Claim the State is Violating Their Religious Right to 'Abortion Rituals'

The Satanic Temple has filed a lawsuit over Indiana’s near-total abortion ban, claiming that it violates their religious right to hold “abortion rituals.”

The lawsuit also names Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb and Attorney General Todd Rokita. It was filed on behalf of multiple anonymous “involuntarily pregnant women” who are said to be members of the temple.

On September 15 a law went into effect in the state banning abortion with exceptions only to save the life of the mother, if there are fatal fetal anomalies, or in cases of rape or incest — up to 10 weeks. It is currently blocked by a state court’s injunction as it is being challenged in lawsuits by the American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood, and several abortion providers.

In the Satanic Temple’s lawsuit, they claim that one of its members is “involuntarily pregnant,” but not due to rape or incest. The “involuntary” pregnancy, they argue, is due to birth control failing.

The lawsuit says that “TST members believe the fetal tissue they carry in their uterus – from conception until viability – is part of their body and not imbued with any humanity or existence separate and apart from that of the Involuntarily Pregnant Woman herself.”

According to the lawsuit, pregnant members of the organization get abortions “to terminate an unwanted pregnancy as an exercise of their religious beliefs pursuant to the Satanic Abortion Ritual.”

“The Satanic Abortion Ritual is a destruction ritual that serves as a protective rite. Its purpose is to cast off notions of guilt, shame, and mental discomfort that a patient may be experiencing due to choosing to have a medically safe and legal abortion,” the Satanic Temple explained in a document included with the lawsuit. “The purpose of the ritual is not to persuade someone to have an abortion if they are undecided. Instead, the ritual serves to assist in confirming their decision and to ward off the effects of unjust persecution, which can cause one to stray from the paths of scientific reasoning and free will that TST members strive to embody.”

The ritual includes reciting the affirmation, “By my body, my blood By my will, it is done,” while the procedure is performed.

Another argument made by the Satanic Temple is that the uterus is a woman’s property, which can be rented out for surrogacy, and therefore the law violates a woman’s “property rights.”

Additionally, the lawsuit argues that women are being placed “into a condition of involuntary servitude.”

The organization claims to have over 1.5 million members worldwide, including over 11,300 members in Indiana.

The temple previously attempted to use religious freedom to fight abortion laws in Missouri — but failed.

Last year, they also filed a lawsuit against the state of Texas over their abortion restrictions, using similar arguments.

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