“The Satanic Abortion Clinic That’s Pissed Off Pretty Much Everyone…and Might Beat the Bans Anyway”

Arielle Domb writes for Cosmopolitan on the Satanic Temple’s telehealth abortion service:

Never mind that Satanists don’t actually worship the devil. There are no ritual sacrifices or quests for supernatural powers at TST. In reality, Satanism is a nontheistic faith in which TST’s roughly 1.5 million global members view Satan more like a mascot, one depicted not as a dark, omniscient deity but as a literary character—a venerable symbol of rebellion, rational inquiry, personal sovereignty, and resistance against tyranny. Followers champion science, religious diversity, and the separation of church and state, says Chalice Blythe, an ordained minister of Satan and the group’s spokesperson for reproductive rights.

Satan symbolizes activism too. Since its founding in 2013, TST has campaigned against harmful pseudo science in mental health care settings, threatened school districts with legal action over harsh disciplinary practices like corporal punishment and solitary confinement, and launched and continues to lead a national crusade against so-called crisis pregnancy centers, which many organizations condemn as fake clinics that exist to deceive and dissuade patients from obtaining real abortion care.

Even with all this, Samuel Alito’s Mom’s Satanic Abortion Clinic marks an audacious step, from abortion activism to abortion care. By TST’s accounting, no other faith-based group in the U.S. has ever launched an abortion clinic. And that’s the game-changing twist here: Unlike other abortion-pill-by-mail providers like Hey Jane or Abuzz, TST is a religion. Meaning its patients, who don’t have to be Satanists themselves, are participating in a religious ritual. That’s a key legal distinction TST hopes to leverage in its historic push to expand its clinic model beyond New Mexico—into states where abortion is otherwise banned.