Satanic Temple Loses Lawsuit Against Indiana Abortion Restrictions

A federal court in Indiana has dismissed a lawsuit by the Massachusetts-based religious association, The Satanic Temple, which aimed to challenge the state’s stringent abortion restrictions.

The group had filed the suit in September 2022, alleging that the new abortion limitations set by Indiana violated both the U.S. Constitution and the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The latter is designed to safeguard religious practices. According to the Satanic Temple’s religious tenets, its members are permitted to undergo abortions.

Furthermore, the lawsuit stated that these restrictions infringe upon the rights of Indiana’s Satanists, who might find themselves pregnant due to contraceptive failures.

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita labeled the lawsuit as “ridiculous” and expressed his satisfaction with the court’s verdict. “We Hoosiers continue to foster a strong culture of life, irrespective of the opinions of satanic groups,” Rokita remarked.

W. James MacNaughton, the attorney representing the Satanic Temple, communicated his disappointment to the IndyStar, leaving the question of an appeal open-ended.

Rokita had argued that the religious association lacked the standing to sue as it did not offer concrete evidence of specific members who would face direct harm from the law.

MacNaughton expressed concerns that one reason for not presenting anonymous plaintiffs was the apprehension that their anonymity might be compromised in Indiana’s prevailing anti-abortion atmosphere.

In 2022, the Satanic Temple initiated a telehealth clinic in New Mexico, whimsically named “Samuel Alito’s Mom’s Satanic Abortion Clinic.” However, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Indiana, Jane Magnus-Stinson, observed that there was no evidence indicating the clinic catered to its Indiana members.

In her written decision, Magnus-Stinson stated, “The Satanic Temple could not prove that the costs of complying with the law or potential prosecution would result in tangible harm.”

Indiana currently allows abortions only in instances of rape or incest within the first 10 weeks, life-threatening circumstances for the pregnant individual, or fatal fetal anomalies.

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