Satanic Temple supports pro-choice advocacy; federal lawsuit against Missouri governor awaiting deliberation

Screenshot of Lucien Greaves, co-founder of the Satanic Temple, taken from a Broadly report. | Broadly

The Satanic Temple continues its support for the pro-choice advocacy.

"We empower women to be creative about protecting their own freedoms and access to reproductive health," a member told Broadly.

The group filed its first lawsuit last year against Jeremiah Jay Nixon, the governor of Missouri, in which they are seeking exemption from the recently introduced abortion laws in the state on the grounds of religious freedom.

"If we're asking for religious rights for all, then we need to actually understand what that means," Jex Blackmore, The Satanic Temple spokesperson, said. "That means the religious rights for Satanists as well."

The issue of reproductive rights fits with The Satanic Temple's concerns because the third of its seven tenets says that "one's own body is inviolable, subject to one's own will alone." Lucien Greaves, a co-founder of the group, said that this should be defered to scientific facts in the best way possible.

The plaintiff, called only as Mary Doe, went to the last operational abortion clinic in Missouri, a Planned Parenthood clinic. Doe, who requested to remain anonymous for fear that pro-life supporters would harrass or threaten her, said that as she was in process of trying to get an abortion, she realized how many roadblocks have been set up. She was made to wait 72 hours before getting the procedure.

Apart from having only one clinic in the whole of Missouri, which makes it difficult for women to access it, she also said that "to force them to sit and reflect for three days over a decision that is, obviously, isn't made overnight, I think it's to impose guilt and shame."

As required by Missouri law, a patient should first have an in-person counselling session and be given the Missouri's Informed Consent Booklet that contains what reporter Callie Beusman called "pro-life propaganda." She then spends three days "reflecting on the information" she received before being able to undergo the procedure.

Doe said that with the closing down of clinics, some women may resort to do-it-yourself methods that could result to them getting seriously hurt or killed.

"If we win the lawsuit in Missouri, and when that happens, I think it will be very demoralizing to those on the Christian right who are fighting so hard to put these restrictions into place," Greaves said.

Apart from state lawsuit, Mary Doe v. Jeremiah Jay Nixon, a federal lawsuit was also filed by Mary Doe and The Satanic Temple against the governor.

The Satanic Temple is an activist organization that, among its aims, want to encourage people to be "directed by the human conscience to undertake noble pursuits guided by the individual will." Blackmore said that they don't believe in "the guy with the red poker down in hell" nor in supernaturalism, and that the Biblical Satan "really inspires a rebellion in mankind against the tyrinnical God." Greaves also said that they view Satan as a symbol of "the ultimate rebel against tyranny."