In response to Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s leaked draft indicating Roe v. Wade could be overturned, The Satanic Temple is taking steps to ensure that women have access to its so-called “abortion ritual.”
“The news that Roe v Wade will likely be overturned is extremely distressing,” said The Satanic Temple in a statement posted to Twitter on May 5. “The Satanic Temple (TST) has nevertheless positioned itself to protect religious abortion access for our members.”
The Satanic Temple’s ‘Abortion Ritual’
On its Twitter page, The Satanic Temple describes itself as “the only federally recognized international (non-theistic) religious Satanic organization.” While TST is classified as a religion (and is therefore tax-exempt), members do not actually believe in the supernatural or in Satan as a real being. The Satanic Temple is not the same as the Church of Satan, founded by Anton LaVey.
The stated mission of TST is “to encourage benevolence and empathy, reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense, oppose injustice, and undertake noble pursuits.” TST adheres to seven “fundamental tenets,” the third of which is, “One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.”
This is not the first time TST has offered its “abortion ritual” as a solution to abortion restrictions in the U.S. On Sept. 1, 2021, an abortion law went into effect in Texas, banning abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, typically around six weeks into pregnancy.
What sets the ban apart is its enforcement provision, which grants power to civilian whistleblowers and intentionally makes court challenges difficult. The Satanic Temple responded to the law by offering to help anyone in the state who wishes to undergo the “Satanic Abortion Ritual.”
“The Satanic Temple stands ready to assist any member that shares its deeply-held religious convictions regarding the right to reproductive freedom,” TST said on its website. “Accordingly, we encourage any member who resides in Texas and wishes to undergo the Satanic Abortion Ritual within the first 24 weeks of pregnancy to contact The Satanic Temple so we may help them fight this law directly.” TST has filed a lawsuit against the state of Texas on the grounds that by restricting abortion, the state is infringing on the religions rights of TST members.