"These practices have no legitimate secular purpose."

[Content Note: War on agency. NB: Not only women need access to abortion.]

The Satanic Temple (here's their FAQ, if you're not familiar with them) are at it again in the best way, this time filing a federal lawsuit against abortion restrictions. From their press release:
NEW YORK, NY. — June 23, 2015 — The Satanic Temple (TST) has filed a lawsuit in Missouri federal court to combat superfluous and harmful abortion restrictions imposed on its members. In particular, TST objects to "informed consent" laws, which mandate that women seeking abortions be required to receive a booklet that is factually inaccurate and designed to dissuade women from getting an abortion. These laws also impose a mandatory waiting period. TST argues that these practices have no legitimate secular purpose and violate their First Amendment guarantee of religious free exercise.

TST spokesperson, Lucien Greaves, summarizes the suit: "The Informed Consent materials explicitly communicate items of religious opinion that directly contradict the deeply-held beliefs of women within The Satanic Temple. Specifically, the state materials declare fetal tissue — in utero not viable, and starting at conception — to constitute a 'unique human being with a life of its own, separate and apart from the woman whose uterus it occupies.' The question of when life begins is absolutely a religious opinion, and the state has no business proselytizing religious beliefs. Women of The Satanic Temple, deciding to terminate a pregnancy, and informed in their decision to do so by their adherence to Satanic tenets, are having their religious freedoms violated when subjected to state-mandated 'informed consent' propaganda. The mandatory abortion waiting-period is imposed with the rationale that women need that time in which to absorb and comprehend the informed consent materials. As we reject the informed consent materials entirely, the waiting period justification is moot, acting as nothing more than an obstacle against acting upon a decision made with deference to deeply-held religious beliefs. In this way, abortion waiting-periods, too, violate our rights to free exercise."

...Greaves sees TST as the new frontline against increasing anti-abortion legislation: "With new restrictions being imposed by theocratically-inclined legislatures across the nation, our lawsuit couldn't be any more urgent or crucial. We anticipate that our efforts will set a precedent in the favor of reproductive rights for generations to come, and bring a sudden halt to the current horrific trend of sanctimonious superstitious assaults on women's freedom of choice," he says.
Emphases mine.

I hope they are successful in their campaign, which they aim to take nationwide. (If you want to help fund their efforts, go here.) There are people who dismiss the Satanic Temple as a joke, but what they're doing is no joke—and their argument is no joke, either. There are millions and millions of USians who do not share the religious views underlying these abortion restrictions, and there is indeed no legitimate secular purpose for them.

Someone who doesn't personally believe in abortion for religious freedoms can practice their freedom of religion by not getting an abortion. To limit access to abortion is, among many other problems, restricting the freedom to practice religion and the freedom to not practice religion for everyone who doesn't share the limited religious views being legislated.

This is, of course, not a new idea. But the Satanic Temple's approach to that idea is new, and it's terrific.

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