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WATCH: Satanists mock babies in face-off against pro-life prayer warriors in Michigan

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DETROIT, April 25, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Many of the thousands of people who gathered outside Planned Parenthood facilities this weekend said they came to do spiritual warfare against the devil. A few in the Detroit area got a clearer encounter than others.

As Citizens for a Pro-life Society held one of hundreds of #ProtestPP rallies outside Planned Parenthood's Detroit Health Center facility, located at 4229 Cass Avenue in the Motor City, the Satanic Temple of Detroit poured onto the sidewalk to engage in a macabre bit of street theater.

Adults wearing masks depicting babies' faces and carrying whips flagellated themselves and each other, then poured baby powder and formula over themselves.

They said this was intended to oppose the pro-life “fetish” with the unborn.

“The action was intended to expose fetal idolatry and the perpetuation of fictional, coercive propaganda against the reproductive health organization,” the Satanic Temple said afterwards. “The Satanic Temple (TST) believes that the anti-choice movement’s obsession with, and mischaracterization of the fetus obscures medical reality and a woman’s constitutional right to choice."

“Enlarged images of fetuses which are no larger than an inch and the personalization of mindless, senseless human embryos elevates the fetus to the status of a demigod,” they said.

Pro-life advocates said the protests, while unwelcome, posed no threat to their own message getting across.

"Why in the world would Planned Parenthood want to let themselves be associated with this?" asked Monica Miller, a Detroit-area pro-life leader who helped organize the nationwide event.

Pro-life advocates also felt satisfied that – out of more than 200 #ProtestPP locations – Satanists could only muster a counter-demonstration in the Detroit area.

Such bizarre disturbances are nothing new from the publicity-hungry sect, led by "Lucien Greaves" (Doug Messner).

The Satanic Temple held a similar counter-protest in the Detroit area last August, as faux priests poured milk over women pretending to pray.

The group says it does not worship a literal Satan, or even believe in his existence, but are dedicated to using the First Amendment's protection of religious freedom against pro-life and Christian conservatives.

For instance, Satanists have petitioned for a "religious exemption" from pro-life laws, saying that Missouri's informed consent law violated the religion of Satanism.

Although not associated with the Satanic Temple, a group of abortion supporters chanted “Hail Satan!” while pro-life Christians sang “Amazing Grace” at the Texas statehouse before the passage of that state's ban on abortions for babies capable of feeling pain, in July 2013.

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