The Satanic Temple (TST) has issued a defiant response to Tuesday's US Supreme Court ruling that upheld the Indiana law (HEA 1337) requiring burial or cremation of fetal remains. The Satanists say their members are immune from the law due to freedom of religion and will argue a federal law passed in 1993 will uphold their claim.
The Arkansas Times Magazine reports the TST, which is headquartered in Salem, Mass., believes non-viable fetal tissue is part of the woman who carries it, even though science proves that every so-called fetus carries its own unique DNA and has a distinct and separate heartbeat from his or her mother.
Still, the Satanists say any state telling them how to dispose of the dead body is a violation of Satanic beliefs since the TST allows members to explore the termination of a pregnancy on their own terms.
As a result, the TST says this law violates their religious beliefs and their members may refuse to obey it.
Indiana law (HEA 1337) forbids hospitals, abortion clinics, and other healthcare facilities from disposing of fetal remains in sanitary landfills and instead allowing only cremation or burial.
The TST argues their rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) have been violated. The 1993 federal law is designed to protect religious freedom when a religious practice conflicts with the laws of the state.
"To be clear, members of The Satanic Temple will not be made to pay for these punitive, superfluous, and insulting burials. We claim exemption on religious liberty grounds, and we will almost certainly prevail in the courts if we are forced to fight," said TST spokesperson Lucien Greaves in a statement.
In April, the TST was officially recognized by the US Internal Revenue Service as a church and were given tax-exempt status, according to Rolling Stone.
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