Satanic Temple sues Indiana over abortion ban

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The Satanic Temple last week sued the state of Indiana over its near-total abortion ban.

The Satanic Temple is a non-theist church that often challenges laws under religious freedom laws that have often been passed with support of conservative Christians. In Illinois, they regularly have a display of their own next to Nativity displays at the Illinois State Capitol.

According to Indianapolis-based TV station Fox 59, the temple has 11,300 members in Indiana.

The TV station reported that Indiana Gov. Greg Holcomb and Attorney General Todd Rokita are both named in the lawsuit. The suit was filed on Sept. 21 and says that a female member of the temple is being barred from following Tenet III of the church, which declares a person’s body is inviolable. The lawsuit also notes Tenet V states that “beliefs should conform to one’s best scientific understanding of the world.” Under this tenet, the lawsuit points out that early stages of fertilization, or zygote, are seen as a part of a woman’s body and not, as described in Indiana law, and “unborn child.”

Under the tenets, Fox 59 reported, Satanic Temple members have the right to an abortion and the abortion ban is block the free expression of their religious beliefs.

The state’s abortion ban was the first passed by a state legislature after Roe was overturned in June. Indiana passed the law in August. It was temporarily blocked last week by a county judge who ruled language contained in the state constitution suggests that there is “a reasonable likelihood” that decisions about family planning are protected.

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