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Strike three for Satanists

by | Jun 10, 2020

By Gerard Nieters, Missouri Right to Life Legislative Director:

Editor’s note. As we discussed yesterday, the eight-page decision, written by U.S. Circuit Judge David R. Stras for a three-judge panel, affirmed the decision by U.S. District Judge Henry Autrey to dismiss the claim. According to Judge Stras, “Judy Doe,” a member of The Satanic Temple, challenged the requirements that she “certify in writing that she has both had a chance to view an ultrasound at least 24 hours ahead of time and received  an informed-consent booklet.”

On June 9, a 3-judge panel of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed a District Court’s dismissal of the latest suit by a Satanic Temple Plaintiff against Missouri’s pro-life laws which she claims violates her 1st Amendment religious freedom rights under the U.S. Constitution. 

Strike one: in 2018, the 8th Circuit upheld a District Court dismissal of a case brought by another Satanist making similar claims. 

Strike two: the Missouri Supreme Court ruled against the Satanists in a similar case last year.

That makes yesterday’s appeals court ruling STRIKE THREE! 

The Satanist claimed that the Missouri statute stating that “Life begins at conception. . . .” constitutes the establishment of religion in violation of the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, because the Catholic church holds the same belief. 

The fact that life begins at conception is a matter of science. The court acknowledged that just because the state and religion hold the same belief does not mean that the state has established a religion. 

The Satanist also claimed that state law, requiring that she be provided written information containing abortion facts before an abortion, violated her free exercise of her Satanist religion. The court acknowledged that the state has a legitimate interest in protecting women from harm by virtue of the information provided to a woman before an abortion and denied it violated her free exercise of religion. 

It is worth noting that the 3 judges deciding the case were Duane Benton, who was appointed by George W. Bush, and L. Steven Grasz and David R. Stras, both of whom were appointed by President Trump. Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and his staff are doing a tremendous job of defending the pro-life laws of Missouri! 

We commend the efforts of the pro-life community in getting these pro-life statutes passed and in electing pro-life people! Without you, this would not be happening! Thank you!

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