The Satanic Temple (TST) is suing the state of Indiana over its recently passed abortion restriction law, claiming it infringes on the rights of its followers and violates the Constitution.
The lawsuit, filed on September 21, named Indiana Republican Governor Eric Holcomb and Attorney General Todd Rokita as defendants in the legal case.
“Members of TST hold the religious belief that an unwanted zygote, blastocyst, embryo, or nonviable fetus should be removed from the body of a pregnant woman. This belief is grounded in TST Tenet III that a woman’s body is inviolable, subject to her own will alone,” the lawsuit reads.
Among the organization’s seven tenets is also Tenet V which says “beliefs should conform to one’s best scientific understanding of the world.” The lawsuit alleges that “Members of TST hold the religious belief that a zygote, blastocyst, embryo, and nonviable fetus are a part of a woman’s body and not imbued with an existence, humanity, or spiritual life separate and apart from the mother.”
The Satanic Temple, based in Salem, Massachusetts, claims more than 1.5 million members worldwide, according to the text of the lawsuit. More than 11,300 of its members are reportedly located in Indiana.
The group is not alone in criticizing Indiana’s new law following the Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade in June. The White House has also been outspoken in its condemnation of the Hoosier state’s new abortion limitations.
“The Indiana Legislature took a devastating step as a result of the Supreme Court’s extreme decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and eliminate women’s constitutionally-protected right to abortion,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement in August.
“And, it’s another radical step by Republican legislators to take away women’s reproductive rights and freedom, and put personal health care decisions in the hands of politicians rather than women and their doctors,” she added.
The new Indiana law went into effect on September 15. The restrictions against abortion include exceptions for rape, incest, and protecting the life of the mother.
The governor released a statement regarding his August bill signing that expressed his concern for protecting life.
“Following the overturning of Roe, I stated clearly that I would be willing to support legislation that made progress in protecting life. In my view, SEA 1 accomplishes this goal following its passage in both chambers of the Indiana General Assembly with a solid majority of support,” Holcomb wrote.
The Satanic Temple’s legal battle is not it’s first. Earlier in September, The Daily Wire reported that the group is challenging a Texas law that bans most abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected.
The TST argued that the law restricts their right to free religious practice, referring to abortions as a “religious abortion ritual” and “a ceremony rooted in our deeply-held beliefs,” according to its website.
The group also requested to fly a flag at Boston’s City Hall after the Supreme Court ruled that banning a request to fly a Christian flag at the location was unconstitutional.