In a move that says turnabout is fair play, members of the Satanic Temple have leveraged the Hobby Lobby decision, stating that informed consent laws pertaining to abortion are a “pernicious encroachment” and are seeking to exempt members from the informed consent laws on the books of 35 states. Those laws require women seeking abortions to be subjected to state-mandated informational materials that that the Temple claims are often false or misleading. The so-called “pro-life” materials attempt to link abortions to breast and ovarian cancers and infer that having an abortion leads to “post abortion syndrome,” a mental condition that has not been recognized as valid by the medical community. Citing that members of the Satanic Temple have beliefs based on scientific fact and the information provided in the pro-life literature is not scientifically accurate, the argument is put forward that members should therefore be exempt from laws that contradict their religious beliefs.
Lucien Greaves, spokesperson for the Satanic Temple, feels the lawsuit has a good chance of getting a favorable ruling. He said, “While we feel we have a strong case for an exemption regardless of the Hobby Lobby ruling, the Supreme Court has decided that religious beliefs are so sacrosanct that they can even trump scientific fact. This was made clear when they allowed Hobby Lobby to claim certain contraceptives were abortifacients, which in fact they are not.”
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg warned that “The court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield” in her blistering dissent to the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in the Hobby Lobby case. Her warning was prescient.
This is not the first time a lawsuit has been filed using the Hobby Lobby ruling. Three days after SCOTUS made the ruling, attorneys representing Guantanamo detainees filed motions to block officials from preventing them from taking part in communal prayers during the holy month of Ramadan.
There will surely be more lawsuits filed in the name of belief systems that are contrary to the evangelical view and this, more than anything else, is an object lesson in why our forefathers enshrined the separation of church and state into our constitution. Perhaps the justices who voted 5-4 in favor of Hobby Lobby should have boned up on their constitutional law before they took such an activist stance. But it’s too late now and the genie is out of the bottle. There’s no stuffing it back in.
Check out her website Ann Werner on the Web