The Satanic Temple has announced the opening of an online abortion clinic and the collection of donations to expand its operations. The temple’s website reports: “TST named its facility ‘Samuel Alito’s Mom’s Satanic Abortion Clinic.’ Before 1973, doctors who performed abortions could lose their license and go to jail. In 1950, Samuel Alito’s mother had no options. The clinic’s name reminds people of the importance of the right to dispose of one’s body and the possible consequences of losing that right. Samuel Alito’s Mom’s Satanic Abortion Clinic is an online clinic that provides religious medication to terminate pregnancies. The clinic delivers abortion medication by mail to those New Mexico residents who wish to perform the religious abortion ritual of the Satanic Temple.”
In its press releases, the Satanic Temple defines abortion as a “religious practice” and a “religious right” and claims that it will counsel women for free, with donor money; women will only need to pay for the medication. The facility will be operated by licensed medical staff and will provide services to residents of the state who are at least 17 years old, with pregnancies up to 11 weeks.
Samuel Alito is the U.S. Supreme Court Justice under whose leadership the Roe v. Wade decision was overturned. In New Mexico, abortion is still legal until birth in all counties except Hobbs and Clovis, which banned abortion after Roe v. Wade was overturned.
The opening of the abortion clinic followed a series of highly publicized actions organized by the Satanic Temple. The purpose of the actions was to impose restrictions on what Satanists consider to be an unduly broad freedom of religion. The Satanic Temple demanded that the right to display religious values in public places be restricted. According to their press release, the Satanic Temple is designed “to oppose religious discrimination, to ensure the separation of church and state and to protect the constitutional rights of its members.” It installed a bronze statue of Baphomet in front of the Oklahoma Capitol in protest of the statue of the Ten Commandments.
The organization also promoted the formation of After School Satan clubs in schools as opposed to Good News Christian children’s clubs. The founders of the clubs call them places where children can learn “about benevolence and empathy, critical thinking, problem solving, creative expression, personal sovereignty and compassion.”
At the same time, TST requires that the right to abortion be protected as a religious right under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and federal law.