The move comes after a showdown in the Missouri Supreme Court after a group called the Satanic Temple fought the state's abortion restrictions on behalf of an anonymous woman.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – On Wednesday, Missouri’s Solicitor General D. John Sauer declared ultrasounds are not required to obtain an abortion in Missouri, according to a press release from the Satanic Temple.
The move comes after a showdown in the Missouri Supreme Court after a group called the Satanic Temple fought the state’s abortion restrictions on behalf of an anonymous woman.
Their attorney argued the imposition of an ultrasound and the opportunity to hear the fetal heartbeat were both medically unnecessary and a violation of her personal religious beliefs.
The attorney asked judges to block the state’s mandatory three-day waiting period for abortions and a requirement that doctors giving abortions also give women a handout that says “the life of each human being begins at conception.”
The issue arose during oral arguments in the Satanic Temple’s lawsuit, which argues the State interference with the ability for its anonymous member to terminate her pregnancy violates her rights under Missouri’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act because that interference has no medical or other compelling purpose.
The lawsuit also said Missouri regulations violate the First Amendment rights of the Satanic Temple’s members.
According to a press release from the Satanic Temple, in an audio recording of the arguments published by the court, Justices of the court asked the State’s representative if, “it’s the position of the State that an ultrasound does not have to be conducted unless a person says they want the opportunity to hear the fetal heartbeat.”
Missouri’s Solicitor General Sauer affirms that the State’s interpretation of statute (MO Rev Stat § 188.027) is that women only be offered the “opportunity,” to have an ultrasound and listen to the fetal heartbeat, and if a woman declines hearing the audio, the ultrasound need not be performed and the requirement has been satisfied.
What is the Satanic Temple?
The Satanic Temple is a non-theistic religious organization dedicated to Satanic practice and promotion of Satanic rights. Members of the group don’t believe in literal Satan but see the biblical Satan as a metaphor for rebellion against tyranny.