Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Missouri Abortion Restriction Challenged In New Suit By Satanic Temple Member

A suit filed last week in a Missouri federal district court by a member of The Satanic Temple challenges Missouri's restrictions on abortion as a violation of the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the U.S. Constitution.  The complaint (full text) in Doe v. Greitens, (ED MO,filed 2/28/2018), focuses on the requirements in Missouri law that a woman seeking an abortion be furnished a booklet that states in part that life begins at conception and an abortion will terminate the life of a living human being. It also challenges Missouri's 72-hour waiting period and the requirement that the woman be given the opportunity to view an active ultrasound.  The complaint says that plaintiff does not believe that life begins at conception and holds the religious belief that she alone can decide whether to remove human tissue from her body, according to the best scientific understanding of the world.

As previously reported, the Missouri Supreme Court in January heard oral arguments in a state Religious Freedom Restoration Act challenge by The Satanic Temple to the same abortion restrictions.  As reported by Friendly Atheist blog, one of the purposes of the new lawsuit is to undercut a mootness argument in the Missouri Supreme Court.  The lower court dismissed the lawsuit because the plaintiff was no longer pregnant.  The new suit is presumably intended to show that this challenge is one that is  within the exception for controversies that are capable of repetition but evade review.