Keri Blakinger –Chron.com Dec 4, 2016
The Satanic Temple is striking out against the Lone Star State’s new rules requiring burial or cremation of aborted fetal remains.
The controversial religious group boldly declared its members would not comply with the Texas Department of Health and Human Services’s new enforcement plans, citing First Amendment concerns.
“The Satanic Temple believes burial rites are a well-established component of religious practice. This is undisputed in the entirety of US legal history,” the group said in a statement published on its homepage, adding that the Temple’s belief in the “inviolability of the body” stands in direct conflict with the new rules.
“The First Amendment protects our right to practice our beliefs, and under the Religious Freedom Reform Act (RFRA), the State must present a compelling reason for why they want to enforce rules that inhibit adherence to our religious practices,” the group continued in the release also posted on Instagram.
The new regulations are set to take effect Dec. 19 and would ban facilities from disposing fetal remains as biological medical waste.
Gov. Greg Abbott’s office touted the changes as affirming “the value and dignity of all life” and expressed hope that the legislature would “enshrine” the rules into law during the 2017 session.
The Satanic Temple – like other pro-choice groups – slammed the rules as anti-choice.
“Clearly, the State of Texas has no compelling reason because these rules were not enacted to promote health and safety, but rather to harass and burden women who terminate their pregnancies,” the Temple’s release said.