The Satanic Temple emitted a statement against the new Texas state ruling that forces abortion clinics to bury or cremate aborted fetal tissue.
Starting on December 18, abortion facilities within the state of Texas will not be able to treat aborted fetuses as medical waste, being required to adhere to specific disposal practices, labeled by The Satanic Temple as “component of religious practice.” The procedure to bury or cremate an aborted fetus has been highlighted as an unnecessary burden upon the patient and the medical facility, as the costs will not be reimbursed by the state.
Enforcing a religious practice through state law
The Satanic Temple affirms that its members will not have to comply with the latest legislation on aborted fetuses in Texas, as they are also asking for legal support to protect the rights of its members. An abstract of the statement reads as follows:
“The Satanic Temple believes burial rites are a well-established component of religious practice. This is undisputed in the entirety of US legal history. In addition, members of The Satanic Temple believe in the inviolability of the body and, as such, these rules contradict our fundamental beliefs. The First Amendment protects our right to practice our beliefs, and under the Religious Freedom Reform Act (RFRA), the State must present a compelling reason for why they want to enforce rules that inhibit adherence to our religious practices. Clearly, the State of Texas has no compelling reason because these rules were not enacted to promote health and safety, but rather to harass and burden women who terminate their pregnancies.”
According to The Satanic Temple, the body is inviolable and it is subject to one’s own will alone. This tenant is confronted by the legislation of the state of Texas. Its decision will surely be met with a lawsuit against the state seeing that many pro-choice groups have labeled the ruling as arbitrary and unnecessary in terms of protecting the patient’s life. Gynecologists also claim that a burial or cremation process attempts against the patient’s privacy, seeing that these are non-medical practices that have little to do with the fetus itself, but rather with what the mother has to endure afterward.
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law that implies an establishment of religious practice, thus supporting the free exercise or religion. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act “ensures that interests in religious freedom are protected.” It has been named unconstitutional when applied to specific cases, but in several others, it has been present where Congress has been at power.
Advocates for women’s rights have called the measure an action of “profound disrespect” against the well-being of women, whether it be physically or emotionally.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is the fiercest backer of the law, claiming that human fetuses should not be treated as medical waste, and enforcing the measure will help “turn the tides against the soulless abortion industry.”
Source: The Satanic Temple