Abortion

Federal Appeals Court Axes Satanic Temple Abortion Lawsuit

The Baphomet statue is seen in the conversion room at the Satanic Temple where a "Hell House" is being held in Salem, Massachusett on October 8, 2019.
Joseph Prezioso/Getty

The U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a lawsuit Tuesday filed by a member of the Satanic Temple against a Missouri abortion law.

At issue is a law requiring women, before they can get an abortion, to receive a pamphlet that states: “The life of each human being begins at conception. Abortion will terminate the life of a separate, unique, living human being.”

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An anonymous woman, Judy Doe, sued, arguing the law violates her religious freedom as a Satanic Temple member. The Satanic Temple doesn’t believe in a literal Satan but sees the biblical Satan as a metaphor for rebellion against tyranny.

A federal district judge last year ruled against Doe, and the appeals court agreed.

The court wrote that the case demonstrates why Missouri wasn't wrong to promote viewpoints on life that Doe argued align with the Catholic religion.

“Any theory of when life begins necessarily aligns with some religious beliefs and not others," the court wrote. "So under Doe’s theory, Missouri’s only option would be to avoid legislating in this area altogether.”

The Satanic Temple didn't immediately respond to an Associated Press request for comment Tuesday. Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt's office didn't immediately comment but has stated support for the law.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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