It feels as though the headline were plucked from The Onion, but no — it’s real. The Satanic Temple recently called out the newly adopted Texan abortion regulations, which require women to bury or cremate aborted fetuses, saying it violates their religious freedom.

Satan.

Texas.

Abortion.

It’s like a really dark mad lib that is actually real.

This month, Texas will impose new rules to make the lives of those who are having an abortion even more difficult, uncomfortable, and potentially traumatic. But hey — it’s pro-life for everyone except the person who is actually living, right?

These new rules — not laws, mind you, but we’ll get to that — require all fetal remains to be buried or cremated. This is regardless of the length of gestation of the fetus. These new regulations elevate the status of the fetus suspiciously close to personhood, regardless of really important characteristics that define a person: a brain, for instance. These new rules go live on December 19.

You may be asking, “Why is it a ‘rule’ and not a ‘law?'” That is a smart question! You see, it is a rule because Texas skirted the actual legislature by having this go through a bureaucratic process rather than a legislative one.

“I believe it is imperative to establish higher standards that reflect our respect for the sanctity of life. This is why Texas will require clinics and hospitals to bury or cremate human and fetal remains. I don’t believe human and fetal remains should be treated like medical waste and disposed of in landfills,” says anti-abortion, Christian Texas Governor Greg Abbott. Ironically, that attitude has not be extended to its actual living, breathing children — Texas has three of the five least literate cities in America.

The Satanic Temple is calling BS on these new rules.

“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 Satanic Temple said.

Related: This Documentary Uncovers Anti-Abortion Movement’s Disregard for Actual Black Lives

The temple’s bio describes their figurehead, Satan, as “… the ultimate icon for the selfless revolt against tyranny, free & rational inquiry and the responsible pursuit of happiness.”

The Satanic Temple has further denounced the rule for enforcing a “well-established component of religious practice.”

The co-founder of the Satantic Temple, Lucien Greaves, tweeted “To be clear, Satanists are trying to prevent fetuses from being used in another religion’s arcane ritual.”

He further explained to journalist Amanda Marcotte, “Funerary rites are dictated by religious persuasion. Satanists will claim exemption on this (and) almost certainly prevail.”

TEXAS RULE ON FETAL REMAINS THE SATANIC TEMPLE RELIGIOUS DEFENSE OF REPRODUCTIVE
RIGHTS
The Texas Department of Health and Human Services plans to enforce new rules that require that fetal tissue must be buried or cremated and can no longer be disposed of in sanitary landfills as they are in every other state. The Satanic Temple believes burial rites are a well-established component of religious practice. This is undisputed in the entirety of US legal history. In addition, members of The Satanic Temple believe in the inviolability of the body and, as such, these rules contradict our fundamental beliefs. 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. 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. For these reasons, members of The Satanic Temple are not required to comply with the Texas rule on fetal remains. Nevertheless, we will require legal support to protect the
rights of our members. Read more at thesatanictemple.com and religiousreproductiverights.com #thesatanictemple #religiousreproductiverights

A post shared by The Satanic Temple (@thesatanictemple) on

The official statement via The Satanic Temple’s Instagram states:

“The Texas Department of Health and Human Services plans to enforce new rules that require that fetal tissue must be buried or cremated and can no longer be disposed of in sanitary landfills as they are in every other state.

“The Satanic Temple believes burial rites are a well-established component of religious practice. This is undisputed in the entirety of US legal history. In addition, members of The Satanic Temple believe in the inviolability of the body and, as such, these rules contradict our fundamental beliefs. 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. 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.

“For these reasons, members of The Satanic Temple are not required to comply with the Texas rule on fetal remains. Nevertheless, we will require legal support to protect the rights of our members.”

This presents an interesting loophole for Texans needing an abortion: you could become a member of The Satanic Temple and claim a religious exemption.

Oh, what sweet, sweet irony.

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