13:17, January 23 261 0 abajournal.com

2018-01-23 13:17:05
Satanic Temple’s challenge to abortion law heads to Missouri Supreme Court

The Missouri Supreme Court is hearing arguments on Tuesday in a suit filed by a Satanic Temple follower that challenges the state’s abortion informed consent law.

The suit filed by a resident known as Mary Doe says the law violates her deeply held religious beliefs in violation of the state’s religious freedom law and the U.S. Constitution’s free exercise and establishment clauses. The Satanic Temple filed the suit on Doe’s behalf and also filed a separate suit in federal court, according to a press release. The Huffington Post and NBC News covered the appeal; a state supreme court summary is here; the appellate briefs are here and here.

The law requires abortion providers to give women seeking the procedure a booklet declaring that life begins at conception and that abortion terminates the life of a separate, unique human being. The law also requires an ultrasound and a 72-hour waiting period.

Doe gave her doctors a letter before obtaining the abortion that said she adheres to the beliefs of the Satanic Temple and her sincerely held religious beliefs differ from the information in the state booklet. She advised the clinic that she absolved it of responsibility for delivering the booklet and for performing an immediate abortion.

The abortion clinic nonetheless followed the state informed consent requirements. Doe filed a court petition seeking an exemption from the law, but it was dismissed. Doe received an abortion after the required waiting period.

The state says the informed consent law serves a compelling state interest and it does not unduly restrict Doe’s exercise of religion.

The case is Doe v. Greitens.