Claiming that ending the life of a first trimester unborn baby is a religious right for their members, the Satanic Temple has issued a press release demanding that religious freedom protections exempt them from all state restrictions on abortion.
"[T]he Satanic abortion ritual provides spiritual comfort and affirms bodily autonomy, self-worth, and freedom from coercive forces with the affirmation of TST's Seven Tenets."
The ritual is practiced when the individual stares at themselves in a mirror during the moments immediately preceding an abortion, and recites one of the Satanic Temple's "tenets" that a person's body is "subject to one's own will alone," that "beliefs should conform to one's best scientific understanding of the world," and that a person should never "distort scientific facts to fit one's beliefs."
Specifically, the Satanic Temple claims exemptions from all state mandated waiting periods, counseling, reading materials, sonograms, burial or cremation of fetal remains, and any requirement to listen to an unborn baby's heartbeat.
According to the temple's spokeswoman Jane Essex, the Satanists believe their abortion rituals fall under Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) principles, as defined in the 2014 Supreme Court case Burwell v. Hobby Lobby.
"Many states have laws that interfere with our members' ability to practice their religious beliefs. No Christian would accept a mandatory waiting period before they can partake in Communion," said Essex. "No Christian would tolerate a law that insists state counseling is necessary before someone can be baptized. Our members are justly entitled to religious liberty in order to practice our rituals as well."