The Satanic Temple Responds to Ohio's New Burial Law for Aborted Fetal Remains

The Satanic Temple says the new law is unconstitutional and violates their religious freedom

Jan 7, 2021 at 1:50 pm
click to enlarge Baphomet, or the Sabbatic Goat - Photo: Public Domain
Photo: Public Domain
Baphomet, or the Sabbatic Goat

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.

And, conversely, according to the Ohio Capital Journal, "Opponents to the bill noted that the bill requires the burial or cremation of fetal remains from surgical abortions, but leaves out those from medication abortions, stillborns, miscarriages, and embryos from fertility clinics."

Regardless, the bill is now 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 said in a release, “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.” 

Goodwin says the requirement infringes upon the temple's First Amendment and religious freedom to request that fetal tissue "be incinerated with other medical waste." (FYI: The Satanic Temple's mission is to "encourage benevolence and empathy, reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense, oppose injustice and undertake noble pursuits.")

Satanic Abortions are protected by Religious Liberty Laws

Posted by The Satanic Temple on Wednesday, August 5, 2020

They have also made a medial exemption form Satanists can bring to their abortion provider.

Another issue? The law will end up costing the state and thus the public, more money.

The state says it will impact the budget to cremate or bury the remains, including an increase in costs to government-owned hospitals for the procedures as well as in "administrative costs to develop written procedures, create and maintain evidentiary documentation, and to include certain information in the abortion report." The Ohio Legislative Service Commission says enacting the new law will also cost the Ohio Department of Health to oversee compliance and any court costs that come from citing those who violate the terms of internment/cremation.

Goodwin says the Satanic Temple is ready to fight the new law in court.

Satanists believe "non-viable fetal tissue is part of the person who carries it," Goodwin says. "As such, state impositions of ceremonial requirements dictating its disposal, barring any plausible medical or sanitary concerns, violate their ability to contextualize the termination of a pregnancy on their terms.”