The highest court in Missouri has slapped down an attempt by a Satanic group to have a crucial pro-life law scrapped. The Satanic Temple was hoping to see the elimination of a provision which ensures mothers are granted the opportunity to see an ultrasound of their baby before deciding whether or not to abort.
Missouri’s “informed consent” bill also rules that mothers wait at least three days after requesting an abortion, to ensure they have enough time to mull it over. They are also presented with a booklet that reads: “The life of each human being begins at conception.”
An anonymous female member of the Satanic Temple argued that her religious rights were being violated due to the presentation of the booklet. According to St. Louis Public Radio, in her complaint, “Mary Doe” argued that under the Satanic Temple’s doctrine, her “body is inviolable and subject to her will alone.”
She added that she has the right to make health-related decisions “based on the best scientific understanding of the world, even if the science does not comport with the religious or political beliefs of others,” noting her belief that fetal tissue “is part of her body and not a separate, unique, living human being.”
However, in its ruling on the case, the state’s Supreme Court disagreed with her assertions on the constitutional interpretation of her complaint. The court expressed that patients are not actively forced to read the booklet, but are simply granted the option to read the literature provided and view an ultrasound if they so wish.
“This Court need not determine whether requiring Ms. Doe to have an ultrasound, to listen to the fetal heartbeat, or to read the booklet offered by Planned Parenthood would have constituted a restriction on her religious freedom, for the statute imposes no such requirements,” Judge Laura Denver Stith wrote in her decision. “It simply provides her with that opportunity.”
Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s spokesman, Chris Nuelle, praised the ruling, telling Fox News that the measure is “designed to protect women from undue pressure and coercion during the sensitive decision of whether or not to have an abortion.”