- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 13, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Missouri has seen a resurgence of abortion clinics of late, thanks in large part to concerted pressures from Planned Parenthood, which sued — successfully — to overturn state laws requiring medical providers performing the procedure to be possessed of hospital admission privileges.

But there’s another reason the state’s just moved from its one-stop abortion shop to several. The Satanic Temple piggybacked Planned Parenthood’s legal challenge and argued, in a Missouri court, the state’s abortion restrictions are tantamount to religious freedom violations.

Seriously.

It’s bad enough the Satanic Temple tries to sell itself as just another religious organization, by arguing, for instance, a right to “hold clubs along side other religious after school clubs in schools,” as its website reads.

But making a case that unfettered access to abortion is a religious freedom? That the state’s imposition of certain mandates on abortion providers is a violation of the First Amendment? Come on, now.

Slate has more: “The Satanic Temple argued in a Missouri court that the state’s abortion restrictions violate worshippers’ rights to free religious practice. The organization is challenging two Missouri laws: one that requires patients to look at unscientific anti-abortion propaganda and another that forces them to wait 72 hours between their initial consultations and a second appointment for their abortions. Satanic Temple members argue that their religion prizes rational, independent thought.”

And compelling pregnant members who don’t want to be pregnant anymore to read through pamphlets while they wait 72 hours for their abortions run counter to their “rational” religion, the logic goes.

It’s a ridiculous line of argument, one that’s simply a short hop from claiming outright that abortion itself is a religious freedom.

The Satanic Temple bills itself as a group dedicated to providing “legal protection against laws that unscientifically restrict women’s reproductive autonomy,” meaning, abortion. And that’s fine; that’s the group’s right.

But trying to claim that state restrictions on abortion are akin to clampdowns on religious expression is not just counter to the whole Founding Father intent with the First Amendment. It’s also downright wicked.

It’s evil being masked as freedom.

That the abortion industry seems to be benefiting from this wicked logic only makes perfect sense. Truly, it’s a match made in hell.

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