Just ten days ago, the good people at the Satanic Temple declared that their members are exempt from Texas’ new rules on fetal burial, calling them “a punitive measure imposed by sadistic theocrats.” Now, they’re doing the same thing for Ohio’s proposed Heartbeat Bill, which would effectively ban all abortions after six weeks.
The Satanic Temple, of course, likes to point out that their members should be free to practice their religious freedoms just as long and hard as any anti-gay cake-baker or screeching anti-abortion sidewalk counselor. In a press release, the Temple said they don’t even need to wait for the Heartbeat Bill to be signed into law before declaring that it’s a violation of their religious liberties:
“To us, the heartbeat is irrelevant to the claim of personhood,” TST spokesperson Lucien Greaves explains. “We do not advocate for a belief in the soul, therefore we feel that complex cerebral functions necessary for perception are what makes a person a person. The non-viable fetus (a fetus that cannot survive outside the woman’s body) is, we feel, a part of the woman’s own body, and it is her choice whether or not she continues the pregnancy.”
One of TST members’ most fundamental beliefs is the absolute inviolability of one’s own body, Greaves added: “Our tenets assert bodily autonomy and uphold Science as the arbiter of claims over what is true, to which we give deference in our decisions. As the Ohio Bill is imposed for no medical purpose and presents no compelling state interest, it is simply a violation of our free exercise, we will fight back against it, and we will very likely prevail.”
As a reminder, the Heartbeat Bill has died in committee several times before, and it’s unlikely that it could ever hold up in a court of law if it were passed this time. But Ohio Republicans are also working to pass a 20-week abortion ban, one with no exceptions for rape, incest, fetal anomalies or mental health. It’s enough to make you wonder sometimes who is truly satanic here.