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Missouri Satanic Temple Challenges Abortion Law on Religious Grounds

Missouri Satanic Temple Challenges Abortion Law on Religious Grounds

In this Oct. 24, 2016 photo, Lucien Greaves stands next to a 9-foot statue of the goat-headed idol Baphomet at the recently opened international headquarters of the Satanic Temple in Salem, Mass. (Elise Amendola/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 23 January 2018 08:35 AM EST

In Missouri, the Satanic Temple is challenging the state's abortion law on religious grounds and now the case is heading to the state's Supreme Court on Tuesday.

The Satanic Temple lawsuit cites the same protections used by Hobby Lobby in Oklahoma when it successfully won a U.S. Supreme Court case to refuse contraception coverage for its female employees on religious grounds, the HuffPost said.

In 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 that Hobby Lobby and another nonprofit with sincerely held religious beliefs do not have to provide a full range of contraceptives under the Affordable Care Act, ABC News reported then.

In the ruling, the court said that the ACA regulations imposing the contraceptive mandate violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, per ABC News.

The lawsuit's plaintiff Mary Doe argues that Missouri's abortion law violated her rights to religious liberty, the HuffPost reported.

The lawsuit said Doe "would be the first to admit her religious beliefs are outside the mainstream thinking of many Christians in Missouri. Indeed, some would label her with the sobriquet 'Satanist.' But if religious freedom is going to have any meaning under (the Religious Freedom Restoration Act), the court must accord Mary Doe the same respect for her religious beliefs it would grant Mother Theresa."

Doe initially filed the lawsuit in 2015, complaining that Missouri's "Informed Consent" abortion law attempted to convince her that life begins at conception, which contradicted her religious beliefs, the Huff Post wrote.

She charged in the lawsuit that the law tried to inflict "guilt and shame to dissuade her from getting an abortion" and "punish her for her beliefs," the HuffPost wrote. Doe complained that she was forced to wait 72 hours after her first appointment before she could obtain an abortion and incur all additional cost, including for a required ultrasound and lodging, the website said.

Missouri officials claimed, though, that its abortion laws requirements were not "unduly restrictive on Doe's asserted exercise of religion," the HuffPost said.

Missouri's Western District Court of Appeals determined unanimously last year that the case "raises real and substantial constitutional claims," and transferred it to the Missouri Supreme Court, The Kansas City Star wrote in October.

State Attorney General Josh Hawley said in a statement, according to the Kansas City Star, in October, that Missouri would defend "sensible waiting period law from this challenge by the Satanic Temple in the Missouri Supreme Court."

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The Missouri Supreme Court will hear a challenge to the state's abortion law by the Satanic Temple on religious grounds.
missouri, satanic, temple, abortion, law
Tuesday, 23 January 2018 08:35 AM
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