“Satanist” Missouri Woman Invokes “Religious Freedom” To Have Abortion Without Waiting 72 Hours

Here are two really fun facts about Missouri:

1) There is only one abortion provider in the entire state, at the Planned Parenthood of St. Louis

2) By law, women seeking an abortion must first have an initial appointment, and then wait 72 hours to be allowed to have it.

This means that women living in Missouri, but far away from St. Louis, are basically shit out of luck unless they have a lot of money and are able to take several days off from work.

One such woman is “Mary.” Mary needs an abortion, but she lives hours away from St. Louis and can’t afford to either stay in St. Louis for three days, or drive there and back four times.

Here’s another fun fact about Missouri! They have a “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” similar to the one enacted recently in Indiana! “Mary” is hoping to subvert that law by stating that she is a member of The Satanic Temple, and that the 72-hour waiting period required by law violates her right to religious freedom.

A GoFundMe page has been set up by Mary and The Satanic Temple of St. Louis in order to help her with the costs of this lawsuit. In the video below, church leader Damian Ba’al explains her situation, as well as how the 72-hour waiting period violates her sincerely held religious belief that “one’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.”

Mary plans to give a letter to her doctor explaining her situation and her religious opposition to the waiting period.

As you know, state law requires a waiting period after I first receive counseling before I can undergo an abortion. I regard a waiting period as a state sanctioned attempt to discourage abortion by instilling an unnecessary burden as part of the process to obtain this legal medical procedure. The waiting period interferes with the inviolability of my body and thereby imposes an unwanted and substantial burden on my sincerely held religious beliefs.

This letter constitutes my acknowledgment that you have notified me of the state mandated waiting period, but demands that you do not abide by this obligation because the waiting period offends my sincerely held religious beliefs, which take precedent.

This, I must say, is a glorious act of killing two birds–or rather, two stupid laws–with one stone. As much as I’d really prefer to not have to turn to pageantry and stunts like people being all “Oh, we totally worship Satan” like they’re me in the 7th grade trying to freak out the relatives–the shit they pull actually does work and does have an effect. I am in favor, fervently, of whatever actually works.

I applaud “Mary” for standing up to this bullshit law and really hope she gets her abortion without having to jump through any ridiculous hoops.

[Friendly Atheist]