And Now “Ritualistic Abortions”

I have tried to make it abundantly clear that I am pro-life but that I think many who are in the political pro-life camp are actually hindering the cause.This point came home to me again last week when someone said I was not pro-life when I asked how many new pediatricians were hired to compensate for the decease in abortions since the Dobbs decision. My question was sincere and the person I asked was celebrating “Pro-Life wins in Texas”, but it proved a point to me that individual had no concern for the babies who would be born, he simply hated the idea of abortion. To some degree I completely understand the revulsion, but as I have stated before it causes other major issues, in part this is because those in the Pro-choice camp do not see people like him as Pro-Life they see him as antiabortion. The fact that the political Pro-Life movement has exclusively focused its energy on eliminating abortion has had a two-pronged effect on this country and I fear it is about to reap some unintended and very negative fruit.

I have said before that many in the Pro-Life movement incite a hatred for abortion rather than a concern for the baby and it was proved to me last week when my question was met with venom. The concern among these groups is that babies take a breath, rather than that the baby has a quality life. I find this disheartening especially as research shows that support for “abortion abolition” and criminal prosecution of women who have abortions is climbing. This is all concerning to me, but it is not the only frightening outcome of the political Pro-Life approach. I have said before that Christians need to be more clever and thoughtful in engaging this topic because if not they will create a motivated opposition and it appears that is happening. The Satanic Temple is now apparently conducting abortions. The idiotic among the Christian Pro-Life movement will say something like, “See we told you they were sacrificing to Molech and here they are doing just that.” But what they fail to realize is that the Satanic Temple is a parody organization that simply matches Christian political engagement with equal and opposite force. This group does not explicitly worship a deity and is not sacrificing children to a deity. What they are doing is using American law to establish a religious organization which allows them access to government and society equal to Christian organizations. What they will do is amend their documents to establish that abortion is a ritual in their religion and is thus protected under the first amendment. They will then argue that prohibiting their members from obtaining abortions violates their first amendment rights. Their argument will be akin to that used by Hobby Lobby and other Christian groups who argued against providing for contraceptives in health care packages offered to employees.

The Satanic Temple will argue, “If Christians can deny contraceptives to employees based on religious principles and those employees are getting pregnant we should be allow abortion services on religious grounds.” Such a case would put Christians into a bind, forcing us along with the supreme Court to ask which is more important abortion rights or the freedom of religion. While we might disagree with the beliefs of the Satanic Temple, it is recognized as a religious institution and is there for granted all of the rights protected by the first amendment. It would not surprise me if they win such a case (they have won several religious freedom cases) which would reverse Dobbs to a degree and allow abortion in all 50 states. Further, such a ruling would make eliminating abortion even more difficult because it would provide a much firmer legal standing. And to top it off, because abortion would be a religious service, it would be an evangelistic tool of the Satanic Temple. I do not want to sound like an alarmist that the Satanic Temple is somehow gaining a huge victory out of this, but this is turn of events that was entirely predictable, and is showing that Pro-Life political gains are temporary at best. It does reveal that chasing the goal of “making all abortion illegal” is a red herring when at least 50% of Americans do not share that goal and a sizable percentage will make it their goal to thwart that agenda. Making abortion illegal in our current social/political climate is not a reality that will stand for long because, like the Satanic Temple, clever people will provide ways to overturn laws and revert our country to a pre-Dobbs position.

There plan of the Satanic Temple is to create a gambit in which Christians must sacrifice some legal footing, either religious freedom or abortion. The only way to counter this measure effectively is too willingly make the sacrifice and change tactics. The end game for the Christian is not “making abortion illegal” it is “thriving families and an end to non-neccasary abortions”. This end can be achieved without ever making abortion illegal. The true goal of Christians can be realized by focusing our attention in other ways. Not that we should give up placing legal restrictions on abortion, we certainly still can fight for reasonable restrictions. But we should be willing to accept moderate legal victories combined with moral and societal efforts to create our desired change. We need to commit to end abortion by having a positive impact on society not simply by making it illegal.

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