The Satanic Temple’s Plan to Challenge Texas’s Abortion Ban P-admin Atheist Republic

Read More Atheist Republic The Satanic Temple, a nontheistic religious and human rights group, recognized by the IRS, is rolling out plans to use its status as a religious entity to outsmart Texas’ damning anti-abortion law. Aside from the formidable legal wall preventing a direct litigation assault on the Heartbeat Bill or Senate Bill 8, TST and other groups against SB8 find it difficult to directly challenge SB8 since it was enacted on September 1, 2021.
On their website, The Satanic Temple acknowledges the mechanisms embedded into SB8 that make it almost impossible to challenge it directly. SB8 is “cynically designed to avoid judicial review of the law and creates enforcement mechanisms,” the temple stated.
The Satanic Temple’s plan is straightforward. Use the rigorous pro-religion statutes passed by Greg Abbott, Texas’ current governor. Specifically, the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act (TRFRA) defines the free exercise of religion as “an act or refusal to act that is substantially motivated by sincere religious belief.” The TRFRA also dictates that it is “not necessary to determine” if the actions or a decline to action is a “central requirement of the person’s sincere religious belief.” The very definition of free exercise of religion that was fought for furiously by Abbott is the same legal gymnastics that the TST is using to circumvent Senate Bill 8’s over-imposition on abortions.
The premise is straightforward, members of the Satanic Temple or anyone who wishes to have an abortion will simply take abortion drugs as part of the Satanic Abortion Ritual. Since SB8 directly impedes the temple’s ability to perform the ritual, the plan is to “seek an exemption under TRFRA.” Since the Satanic Abortion Ritual is covered under TRFRA’s definition of the free exercise of religion, and the request for an exemption fails, the Satanic Temple will seek legal actions on the grounds of Texas selectively granting exemption under TRFRA.
The first step is the letter sent by The Satanic Temple to the Food and Drug Authority seeking unrestricted access to abortion-inducing drugs “without being subjected to the agency’s regulations.” Under TRFRA, Indigenous Americans were allowed unrestricted access and unregulated use of peyote, a cactus that has hallucinogenic effects when ingested.
If the TRFRA protected the Indigenous groups, members of The Satanic Temple should also be allowed to take abortion drugs as part of their abortion rituals.