The Satanic Temple challenged Texas abortion law on grounds of religious freedom

The Satanic Temple presents its statue of Baphomet, a winged goat creature, at a rally for the first amendment in Little Rock, Ark., On Thursday, August 16, 2018. The Satanic Temple wants to install the statue on the grounds of the Capitol as a symbol of religious freedom after a monument to the Ten Biblical Commandments was installed in 2017 (photo AP / Hannah Grabenstein)

AUSTIN (KXAN) – The controversial Texas fetal heartbeat bill may have many fans among some religious communities, but the Satanic Temple is not among them.

The religion, which has no belief in gods, filed a letter with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration asking its members to have access to abortion pills for reasons of freedom of religion, Fortune reports.

This happens when the state of Texas passed the country’s most restrictive abortion laws last week. According to Senate Bill 8, abortions after six weeks of pregnancy are prohibited. The legislation was met with national and international controversy, as many people did not even realize they were pregnant during the six-week period.

“I’m sure Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who famously spends much of his time writing press releases on religious freedom issues in other states, will be proud to see that Texas’ robust religious freedom laws, that he advocates so loudly, will avoid Future abortion rituals will not be interrupted by superfluous government restrictions that only meant embarrassing and harassing those who want to abort, “Temple co-founder Lucien Greaves said in a statement.

The Temple, based in Salem, Massachusetts, says its members consider bodily autonomy sacred. In addition, Greaves said “abortion rituals” are an important facet of her beliefs. The Temple has frequently advocated for equality between religions, having previously temporarily installed a statue of the winged goat-headed creature Baphomet in the Arkansas State Capitol, next to a Ten Commandments monument.

Fortune reports that the Satanic Temple hopes to maintain access to abortion pills through its rights to the Restoration of Religious Freedom Act. Through the act, Native American populations are allowed access to the hallucinogenic peyote for their practices.

Texas law reached the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday after a group of Texas abortion clinics and attorneys called for the law to be blocked. The Supreme Court eventually allowed the law to take effect, but the court could resume the law in the immediate future.

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