TST has filed lawsuits against the state of Missouri in both state and federal courts on behalf of Mary Doe, a pregnant woman seeking an abortion. A third lawsuit was filed in Federal Court on behalf of Judy Doe. Missouri law requires that all women seeking to lawfully terminate their pregnancy must be given reading material claiming that life begins at conception, as well as other text designed to induce guilt and shame. In addition, women must endure a 72-hour waiting period between their initial appointment and their abortion procedure.
TST objects to these restrictions on religious grounds because they violate our belief in the inviolability of one’s body. The lawsuits utilize the First Amendment’s establishment clause and both state and federal Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRA) to support our claims. RFRA was the same law used by Hobby Lobby to religiously avoid covering health care insurance costs for female employees’ contraceptives.
The legal cases assert that state interference with the lawful behavior of a TST member to terminate her pregnancy violates her rights under Missouri’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) because that interference has no medical or other compelling purpose. In addition, the suit maintains that the Missouri regulations violate the First Amendment rights of TST members.
TST argues that her religion, as a member of TST should exempt her from the imposition of abortion restrictions that conflict with her beliefs. Because Missouri is using its power to regulate abortion to promote the religious belief that life begins at conception, TST argues that this is a violation of the Establishment Clause. In addition, TST claims that the 72-hour waiting period violates the Free Exercise Clause because it compels TST members to consider a religious proposition with which they do not agree and therefore delays their ability to obtain an abortion on demand.