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 screenshot from 'Hail Satan?' documentary trailer

(LifeSiteNews) – This week the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas rejected a claim from the far-left activist group The Satanic Temple (TST) that Texas’s heartbeat-based abortion ban violates the religious liberty of satanists.

TST is a secular-leftist group that purports to embrace Satan’s name as a “symbol of the Eternal Rebel in opposition to arbitrary authority” while not believing that God, the devil, or other supernatural concepts literally exist, but also promotes satanic rituals. The group filed the lawsuit in 2021, well before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and expressly recognized states’ freedom to decide their own abortion laws.

“SB 8’s ban on abortions after six weeks infringes upon our members’ rights to engage with their chosen religion and to participate in religious rites and rituals,” claimed TST Director of Campaign Operations Erin Helian. “In accordance with our Third Tenet, The Satanic Temple will push back against the Texas legislature’s violation of our members’ bodily autonomy and freedom of choice.”

The group amended the complaint last year following the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, only to ultimately lose, Bloomberg Law reports. Before even reaching the case’s legal theory, the court determined the lawsuit was “too spare and cryptic to support its standing to sue Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Cecile Young or overcome her sovereign immunity on its claims for violations of the First Amendment’s free speech, free exercise, and establishment clauses,” according to Bloomberg.

Texas currently has a full, direct abortion ban dating to 1925, a trigger law from 2021, and a heartbeat-based abortion ban that was allowed to take effect four months before Roe was overturned thanks to its unique enforcement mechanism (citizen lawsuits rather than government prosecution). Just two months after Roe’s reversal, the Texas Department of Health & Human Services reported in January, there were zero elective legal abortions and just three legal abortions committed to save the life of the mother — down from 67 elective abortions the month before, and 5,706 in August 2021. As detailed by LifeSiteNews last month, Texas births rose 4.7% in 2022.

TST is known for agitating against pro-life laws, sponsoring LGBT “pride” events, erecting Satanic statues on public property, and promoting “Satan clubs” on public school property, among other attention-generating antics in support of various left-wing agenda items.