Practitioners of Satanism is trying to use religious freedom as an argument against the Texas law requiring abortions for fetuses. However, their argument fails to satisfy a reasonable level of burden of proof.
The TST is arguing that the law violates the Satanist tenet of bodily inviolability and is therefore a violation of their religious beliefs. But there are two issues with this position. First, there is the issue of whether or not Satanism is even a religion. On The Alcoholic Anthropologist I argue that Satanism, at least as expressed by the Satanic Temple, is not a religion. However, even if it were, and even if the tenet was religious, the TST would still have to be able to reasonable argue that the tenet extends to the fetus.
It certain can be argued, starting with the position that the body is inviolable, that things created by it would be as well, but it is not a given. A fetus is reasonably more than just part of the mother’s body, and it has its own cells, its own genetic code. Furthermore, it is the product of cells from two bodies. So it is not a given that a person would believe, as part of the Satanist view, that a fetus is indeed part of the mother’s body and therefore protected by the tenet of bodily inviolability. Indeed, it could also be argued that the fetus is its own body, and therefore is protected by its own bodily inviolability.
The courts always require that burden of proof be satisfied when religious violations are being claimed. First, one must prove that he or she is truly religious. This is easier to do with the “big three” religions than with smaller or newer religions. Second, the person must prove that an action is indeed in violation of said religion. That again is easier with more well established religions, with large bodies of commentary on the religious doctrine available. That is why the phrase “sincerely held” appears repeatedly in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. And the long standing doctrine of the Christian religion is there was no question that the belief was sincerely held. However, Satanism is new, at least in its current form, existing for a little over a half a century. There is far less doctrine available, and The Satanic Temple seems to have failed to provide reasonable evidence to satisfy burden of proof that bodily inviolability extends to the fetus.
Fifth Amendment View
Of course, this is not to argue that the Texas law is reasonable, or even constitutional. It is not. Forcing someone to act against his or her will, including by forcing them to perform a ceremony, is a violation of the fifth amendment. A person cannot be forced to act, otherwise the person is merely a slave, even if just a slave to the state. That is why I often reiterate the importance of the fifth amendment in my posts.