A Missouri member of the Satanic Temple, going by the name of Mary, will be challenging the state's waiting period for abortion, claiming that it places an undue burden on her religious right to terminate her pregnancy:
In Missouri, women seeking an abortion at the one open abortion-providing clinic in the state have to make two trips to the clinic, 72 hours apart: The first is to receive counseling that “includes information designed to discourage her from having an abortion,” the Guttmacher Institure says, and the second after the required waiting period is for the procedure.
The Satanic Temple says that the restriction places an undue burden of one Missouri member, identified by the group only under the pseudonym of “Mary.” Late last week, the national group and the local Missouri chapter of the Temple were raising funds for potential legal costs, as well as meals, transportation and day-care costs for “Mary’s” child, according to a video posted by St. Louis Satanic Temple head Damien Ba’al.
The Riverfront Times spoke to “Mary,” who did not use her real name in the interview. She’s a 22-year-old mechanic who lives four hours away from the state’s Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Louis:
“I personally would have liked to have the procedure done as soon as possible,” says Mary, who’s nearly 12 weeks pregnant. “But with all the difficulties, how hard it is do this, it’s been put off for several weeks. If you’re right on the edge of the state you’ve got to go 500 miles just to get to St. Louis, and you have to make arrangements.”
What follows is the letter she plans on handing her insurance provider:
As an adherent to the principles of the Satanic Temple, my sincerely held religious beliefs are:
- My body is inviolable and subject to my will alone.
- I make any decision regarding my health based on the best scientific understanding of the world, even if the science does not comport with the religious or political beliefs of others.
- My inviolable body includes any fetal or embryonic tissue I carry so long as that tissue is unable to survive outside my body as an independent human being.
- I, and I alone, decide whether my inviolable body remains pregnant and I may, in good conscience, disregard the current or future condition of any fetal or embryonic tissue I carry in making that decision.
As you know, your medical treatment of me requires my informed consent. My informed consent is
based solely on scientifically true and accurate information that is relevant to my decisions
regarding my health and pregnancy in accordance with my sincerely held religious beliefs.
I regard any information required by state statute to be communicated or offered to me as a
precondition for an abortion (separate and apart from any other medical procedure) to be based on
politics and not science ("Political Information"). I regard Political Information as a state sanctioned
attempt to discourage abortion by compelling my consideration of the current and future condition of
my fetal or embryonic tissue separate and apart from my body. I do not regard Political Information
to be scientifically true or accurate or even relevant to my medical decisions. The communication of
Political Information to me imposes an unwanted and substantial burden on my religious beliefs.
My informed consent is based solely on information you provide which, in the exercise of your
independent medical judgment, is materially relevant to my health (excluding the present or future
condition of any fetal or embryonic tissue inside my body) and is scientifically true and accurate. My
informed consent is not based on Political Information.
This letter constitutes my acknowledgment that you have offered Political Information to me. I reject
that Political Information because it offends my sincerely held religious beliefs. Please attach this
letter to any forms you are required to keep regarding my informed consent.
The doctor-patient relationship is built on trust. I trust that you will honor my religious beliefs and
keep me fully and accurately informed of my health based on science, not politics. I further trust
that you will not deny me medical care because of any inconvenience my religious beliefs may
cause to your ability to provide me with your best independent medical judgment.
It seems to me we all knew which side of the abortion debate Satan was rooting for. I just didn't think it would take him this long to find a lawyer.
Mary, whose chosen name I'm sure is no accident, claims she trusts science over politics and it is science that ought to inform her health choices.
Well Mary, quite contrary, perhaps you should check out these scientific sources and get back to us.
We'll be praying for you and the 'tissue' you're carrying as we await your response.