Idaho faces another challenge to its abortion bans in federal court, but this time from the Satanic Temple, which argues that the state’s abortion laws are unconstitutional violations of property rights, the equal protection clause, religious freedom and involuntary servitude.
The religious association filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court on Friday, along with a similar challenge in Indiana, where abortion is also prohibited. In Idaho, District Judge Raymond Edward Patricco Jr. is assigned to the case.
The lawsuit argues against Idaho’s trigger law banning nearly all abortions and civil enforcement law that allows family members to sue medical providers who perform abortions. Both allow exceptions for rape and incest and to save the life of the pregnant person. The Satanic Temple asked the court to block the laws with an injunction.
The Idaho Attorney General’s Office declined to comment due to its policy of not commenting on ongoing litigation. Governor Brad Little’s office could not be reached for comment.
Complaint argues Idaho laws are violations of constitutional liberties
According to the complaint, there are more than 1.5 million Satanic Temple members worldwide and more than 3,500 are located in Idaho. The Temple says it “venerates, but does not adore, the allegorical Satan portrayed in the epic poem ‘Paradise Lost’ – the defender of personal sovereignty against the dictates of religious authority”.
Members must adhere to the Seven Principles of the Temple, which include the idea that a person’s body is subject to their will alone and that a person’s beliefs should be consistent with their best scientific understanding of the world. The fourth principle also stipulates that the freedom of others must be respected.
Lawyers for the religious group argue that the uterus of an ‘involuntarily pregnant woman’ is a physical thing to which property rights apply, as eggs can be retained or removed, the uterus itself can be removed for any purpose and it can be leased to a third party as a gestational carrier under a surrogacy agreement.
These property rights cannot be violated by the state without just compensation, according to the lawsuit, in accordance with the Fifth and 14th Amendments to the US Constitution.
The Temple also says that a pregnant person must provide the fetus with hormones, oxygen, nutrients, antibodies, body heat, and protection from shock and external intrusions, all of which are services that a unintentionally pregnant person would be compelled to provide under state abortion bans.
“Idaho’s abortion bans offer no compensation or consideration to an involuntarily pregnant woman for providing the services necessary to sustain the life of a protected unborn child who occupies and uses her uterus,” it read. in the complaint. “The… (pregnant persons) are placed in a state of involuntary servitude in violation of the Thirteenth Amendment. »
The lawyers also argue that the bans require discrimination between people who accidentally become pregnant and those who have been raped, which the complaint says violates the Equal Protection Clause of the US Constitution.
Under the argument of religious freedom violations, the Temple said state abortion bans prohibit Temple members from engaging in the satanic ritual of abortion. The ritual is based on Temple principles that a person’s body is their own and cannot be violated by others. The ban therefore violates the state’s Religious Freedom Act, according to the complaint.
“There are less restrictive ways to advance the asserted state interests served by Idaho’s abortion bans than to outlaw the satanic ritual of abortion,” the complaint states.
Two hours, three cases – an Idaho Supreme Court hearing will decide the fate of abortion laws
Temple’s lawsuit is one of many ongoing cases involving Idaho’s abortion laws
This is the second lawsuit filed in federal court over Idaho’s abortion laws, the first of which occurred in early August when the US Department of Justice sued the state for saying that the abortion ban violated the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act — or EMTALA — which requires hospitals that receive payments for the federal Medicare program to provide medical care to stabilize any patients who come in in the hospital with a medical emergency.
District Judge B. Lynn Winmill granted a request to block the ban from applying to emergencies a day before the trigger law took effect, and another hearing is yet to come. was provided for in the case. Attorneys for the Idaho Legislature and the Idaho Attorney General’s Office Asked Winmill at reconsider order, saying he had misinterpreted the law.
Additionally, the Idaho Supreme Court will hold a hearing on Thursday for oral arguments in the case filed by Planned Parenthood against the state of Idaho’s abortion laws.
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