EXEMPTIONS FROM RESTRICTIONS AND OBSTACLES TO ABORTION ACCESS
TST insists that certain restrictions interfere with our religious practices. The rights of religious organizations to receive special consideration due to their beliefs has been repeatedly affirmed in courts and this position is further supported by Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) laws.
FETAL BURIAL RULES
Both Indiana and Arkansas have successfully passed laws requiring health care facilities to bury or cremate fetal remains from spontaneous or induced abortion or ectopic pregnancy regardless of their patients’ wishes. This clearly constitutes a violation of the long-established domain of religious entities to handle the remains of the deceased. TST asserts its religious right to treat human tissue as medical waste.
WITHHOLDING OF MEDICAL INFORMATION
One of the fundamental tenets of TST is the need for best scientific information to inform our lives, actions, and decisions. When medical professionals withhold information, they directly interfere with our religious practices. In Pennsylvania, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Idaho, Indiana, Missouri, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Arizona, doctors are not required to inform women of complications that may lead them to consider terminating their pregnancies. TST intends to take legal action to require doctors to inform their patients who share our beliefs that they might withhold this kind of information. If they fail to disclose in this scenario, they would be criminally violating their patient’s civil rights.
STATE MANDATED MEDICAL PROCEDURES
Many states require that medically unnecessary procedures be performed prior to terminating a pregnancy. Procedures that have no medical purpose, but are nonetheless required under state law, can be objected to on religious grounds. Courts have upheld the rights of other religious organization to refuse certain procedures that violate the beliefs of their adherents and it is hoped that the courts would similarly approve requests made by members of TST.
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES CONSCIENCE AND RELIGIOUS FREEDOM RULE
TST members, and those who share our beliefs, believe that enforcing mandatory waiting periods and counseling, providing unnecessary ultrasounds, and forcing patients to listen to a fetal heartbeat against their wishes violates our conscience. TST asserts that TST members and those who share our beliefs should not be forced to violate their conscience when providing abortion care and therefore not be bound by restrictions on access that serve no medical need.