Best Of 2021

Best Reproductive Rights Argument by the Satanic Temple: Ohio’s desire to dictate funeral procedures cuts at the heart of religious freedoms

On Dec. 30, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 27 into law, which basically says fetal remains from a surgical abortion must be either cremated or buried (by the abortion facility, or, under certain circumstances, the woman). Prior to the signing of the bill, fetal remains were already required to be disposed of “humanely.” But some felt that wording was too vague. Whichever way you feel, it’s now the law and The Satanic Temple has a few things to say about it — including that it’s unconstitutional. The temple’s Religious Reproductive Rights spokesperson Sydney Goodwin says, “This is an outrageous and unconstitutional affront to religious liberty. Ohio’s desire to dictate funeral procedures cuts at the heart of religious freedoms as these rites have been an essential component of religious practices for thousands of years.” The organization claims (quite logically) that the requirement infringes upon the temple’s First Amendment and religious freedom to request that fetal tissue “be incinerated with other medical waste.” The group has written up a medical exemption form that Satanists can bring to their abortion provider and Goodwin says the Satanic Temple is ready to fight the new law in court.