Sunday, August 07, 2016

Satanic Temple Challenge To Missouri Abortion Restrictions Dismissed On Standing Grounds

Last month in Satanic Temple v. Nixon. (ED MO, July 15, 2016), a Missouri federal district court dismissed for lack of standing a suit by the Satanic Temple and one of its members challenging on free exercise and establishment clause grounds Missouri's disclosure and waiting period requirements for women seeking an abortion.  Missouri requires the abortion provider to deliver to a woman seeking an abortion a pamphlet that states in part: "The life of each human being begins at conception. Abortion will terminate the life of a separate, unique, living human being"  The Missouri law also requires a 72 hour waiting period and the opportunity to view an ultrasound, Plaintiffs alleged that these requirements are inconsistent with beliefs of the Satanic Temple and are medically unnecessary.  The court concluded: "Plaintiff Doe is not now pregnant, there is no guaranty that she will become pregnant in the future, and that if she does, she will seek an abortion,,,," Last week in Verdict, Prof. Marci Hamilton commented on the decision. In January a Missouri state court dismissed a similar challenge brought under RFRA. (See prior posting.)