A lawsuit against the state of Idaho filed by the Satanic Temple (TST) that tried to work around the state’s strict abortion ban by creating an “Abortion Ritual” has failed. The lawsuit, which also took aim at the constitutionality of Idaho’s Defense of Life Act, was rejected on all levels, but this is just the first round as TST lawyers have stated their intention to appeal.
After the Supreme Court’s 2022 decision in Dobbs v Jackson, a move that sent the power to make decisions on the legality of abortion back to individual states, Idaho initiated one of the strictest laws on abortion in the nation: the Defense of Life Act. The legislation made every attempt to perform an abortion in Idaho, with emergency exceptions, a criminal act.
Religion Clause reports that an Idaho federal district court heard arguments on January 31 and dismissed the challenges to the state’s statutes criminalizing abortion. Along with attempting to get the Idaho state government to acknowledge and condone a ritualized form of abortion through TST, the group argued that the Act violated several Constitutional amendments:
“(1) effected a regulatory taking of the economic value of a pregnant woman’s womb in violation of the Fifth Amendment; (2) effectively made pregnant women into slaves in violation of the Thirteenth Amendment; (3) given unconstitutional preferences to rape victims in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment; and (4) violated Idaho’s religious freedom statutes.”
The court determined that TST did not have the standing to bring the lawsuit against the state and furthermore rejected the first three challenges, featured above, on the constitutionality of the Act. The fourth claim, on religious freedom, the court said would have to be determined in a separate suit.
Idaho Attorney General Raúl Labrador, who was specifically named in the lawsuit, hailed the work of his office to defeat TST, going so far as to title his announcement: “Attorney General Labrador Defeats Satan.” After noting that every claim was rejected and the case was dismissed, Labrador stated:
“The court held that each claim lacked merit, even describing one of The Satanic Temple’s positions as producing a ‘blatantly absurd’ result,” said Attorney General Labrador. “My office will continue to defend the lives of the unborn at every turn.”
Labrador’s vow to continue to fight TST’s attempts to sidestep or undermine the Defense of Life Act may soon be put to task, as lawyers representing TST have already stated that they intend to take the case to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.