Starting in December, Texas will begin requiring that fetal remains be buried or cremated.
While pro-choice activists see this as a sinister and calculated way of adding to the psychological turmoil of an already-difficult process, The Satanic Temple sees it as a violation of their religious freedom.
Since it wasn’t legislated, the new rule isn’t technically a “law,” but it stipulates that if a miscarriage or abortion takes place at a hospital or healthcare provider, they must bury or cremate the remains. Miscarriages that occur at home do not apply to the rules, due to obvious privacy concerns.
Nonetheless, the Satanic Temple sees the whole thing for what it is: a naked bid to elevate fetal tissue to the status of a human being. In a press release, Satanic Temple spokesperson Lucien Greaves called the new rules, which go into effect December 19, “a direct violation” of the group’s religious beliefs.
“Texas health officials are baldly imposing the view that the fetal tissue is elevated to personhood—a religious opinion that conflicts with our own,” Greaves said, according to Jezebel.
“If Texas is going to treat the disposal of fetal tissue differently from the disposal of any other biological material, in contradiction to our own religious beliefs, they need to present a compelling state interest for doing so,” he continued. “Of course, there is no such state interest, and it’s perfectly clear the demand for fetal tissue burial is a punitive measure imposed by sadistic theocrats. It’s clear these officials deem harassment an acceptable form of pushing their misguided religious agendas.”
The Satanic Temple’s history of successful trolling against the Religious Right is unprecedented. They’ve put Christians’ “religious freedom” arguments to the test with their “After School Satan” school clubs, they got Arizona Christian lawmakers to ban public prayer, and even had a Satanic-themed coloring book made available for display at an elementary school. All the ST’s strategizing is based around using the Christian drive for religious superiority in the public sphere against them.
Greaves says he plans to file suit against the new rules soon.
“We’ll file an injunction as soon as the state tried to impose this on a member who claims exemption,” he said. “As soon as that happens, we absolutely will sue, and it’s very, very difficult to imagine any plausible reasoning by which we’d lose.”
Watch the video below of Lucien Greaves describing the Satanic Temple.
Featured image: Lucien Greaves (YouTube)