Citing some of their central religious tenets, the Satanic Temple has just offered what is probably the most creative response yet to the Supreme Court's recent Hobby Lobby ruling: A letter women can give to their doctors to express their "deeply held belief" that they shouldn't be subject to state-mandated information sessions before receiving abortions. They're coming at the freshly empowered religious anti-abortion/anti-contraception movement from a powerful place—a religious pro-choice, pro-bodily-autonomy movement. (Did you not ever think of this possibility, right-wing brainiacs???)
Two of their religion's Seven Fundamental Tenets apply here, the Satanic Temple says in a recent announcement: first, that "one's body is inviolable, subject to one's own will alone," and second, that "beliefs should conform to our best scientific understanding of the world." State laws regarding what information must be shared with patients before abortion procedures can vary, and are often designed to discourage women from getting abortions—from the mild (information about adoption) to the dramatic (sonograms and descriptions of the fetus, scientifically dubious claims about fetal pain). Don't see how handing out pamphlets about fetal development or forcing pregnant women to get another ultrasound could ever be a problem? Read Texan Carolyn Jones's experience with her state's sonogram law.
“While we feel we have a strong case for an exemption regardless of the Hobby Lobby ruling," says Satanic Temple spokesman Lucien Greaves via press release, "the Supreme Court has decided that religious beliefs are so sacrosanct that they can even trump scientific fact." Because of the "respect the Court has given to religious beliefs," Greaves says they expect that members of their church and others with the same beliefs are now clearly exempt from receiving that state-mandated information (which they refer to as "political information" in their letter). More from the Satanic Temple's website:
An increasing number of states have passed "informed consent" laws, requiring that women seeking abortions be subjected to state-mandated informational materials that are often false or misleading. We believe that personal decisions should be made with reference to only the best available, scientifically valid information. If you are a woman seeking an abortion who shares these deeply held beliefs, please print the letter below to present to your care-provider, informing him/her that you are to be exempted from receiving "informed consent" materials.
An example from the letter: "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."
And there you go! A most interesting chapter of 2014. Craft store corporation becomes legally religious, and Satanists start asserting their religious exemptions. Oh, and clergy start handing out condoms at craft stores, among other responses. I wish the Supreme Court had gone the other way in that decision, but the various avenues of backlash are still pretty fascinating to watch.
Oh, and if you wanted to donate to the Satanic Temple? "Please note that The Satanic Temple believes that religious organizations should not be tax exempt and for that reason contributions are not tax deductible."