Planned Parenthood, Satanic Temple hailed for restoring abortion services in Missouri

(Wikimedia Commons/Hourick)Planned Parenthood in Houston, Texas

Planned Parenthood and The Satanic Temple have been credited for doubling Missouri's abortion capacity this year through their efforts to fight the state's restrictions on abortion.

The Satanic Temple is currently waging a legal battle against two of Missouri's abortion laws as Planned Parenthood is working to gain licensing for four new abortion clinics.

In an article published by Slate on Tuesday, staff writer Christina Cauterucci connected the rise of abortion services in the state with the court challenges filed by the Temple, which argued in court that the state's abortion restrictions violate its members' rights to free religious practice.

Cauterucci wrote in her article, titled "Abortion access in Missouri is getting easier, thanks to Planned Parenthood and Satanists," that Missouri's good luck in the realm of reproductive rights might be due to an intervention from "the fiery underworld."

The Satanists contend that the laws violate two of their core tenets, namely, "one's body is inviolable, subject to one's own will alone," and "beliefs should conform to our best scientific understanding of the world."

One of the laws being challenged in court obliges pregnant women to wait 72 hours between their initial consultations and second appointments for their abortions. The other law requires patients to read pro-life literature, according to The Kansas City Star.

The case involves a pregnant Satanist identified only as "Mary Doe," who unsuccessfully tried to use a religious waiver to avoid the state's required literature and waiting period.

State and federal lawsuits filed by the Temple were thrown out in 2016 by a Cole County circuit judge, who decided that a strong enough argument had not been made.

The Temple appealed the dismissal of the case on Monday, and it is expected to present arguments before the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Sept. 20.

While the Temple wages their legal battle for abortion, Planned Parenthood had gained victories in its efforts to prevent the state from enforcing its strict requirements on abortion clinics.

On July 18, a federal judge issued an injunction against a regulation requiring abortion facilities in the state to have hospital admitting privileges. Additionally, the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services was ordered by the district court to immediately issue licenses for abortion clinics in four different cities.

Shortly after the court ruling, Planned Parenthood expressed its plans to expand its abortion services in the state.

On Monday, Planned Parenthood Great Plains announced that it will be offering abortion services at two more clinics in Missouri, including its midtown Kansas City clinic.

Members of The Satanic Temple have expressed their support for Planned Parenthood by staging counter-protests against pro-lifers outside abortion clinics in the mid-west.

In April 2016, Satanists came to a pro-life protest outside of a Detroit, Michigan Planned Parenthood facility wearing baby masks and carrying whips. The event, organized by Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, was part of a larger #ProtestPP movement in an attempt to expose the abortion giant's alleged involvement in the trafficking of aborted baby body parts.

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