There's a new player in the fight to save abortion rights in Texas: The Satanic Temple
Laurie Shaull / Flickr and Wikimedia Commons

A new Texas law that went into effect last week criminalizes all abortions performed after the fetus develops a heartbeat, which is at around six weeks. That means that nearly 85% of all abortions that took place in the state are now considered illegal.

Critics of the new law say it's a major violation of a woman's right to bodily autonomy. It also has major religious connotations. The pro-life movement that's been fighting to end abortion rights has been powered by conservative Christian activists for decades.

When signing the law, the Governor of Texas made it clear that the law is a way for Christians to force their beliefs on the population as a whole.


"Our creator endowed us with the right to life, and yet millions of children lose their right to life every year because of abortion," Abbott stated while signing the law.

Strangely, The Bible has nothing to say about abortion.

One "religious" group is fighting back against the draconian abortion laws in Texas because it believes that "religion can, and should, be divorced from superstition."

The Satanic Temple, headquartered in Salem, Massachusetts, filed a letter with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to request that its members have access to abortion pills using its Religious Freedom Restoration Act rights. Having abortion pills readily available could make it easier to bypass the new Texas law.

The same rights allow Native Americans to access the hallucinogenic drug peyote for their spiritual rituals.

The Temple is a quasi-religious organization that claims it doesn't believe "in the existence of Satan or the supernatural" but that religious freedom law should apply to all religions.

"Religions have special privileges under the First Amendment and RFRA. The Satanic Temple is utilizing these privileges to protect our religious belief in bodily autonomy - we're taking our fight to the next level," Temple cofounder Lucien Greaves said in a statement.

"As the courts affirm the rights of religious organizations to practice their faith, TST is demanding our religious rights to abortion access without unnecessary state interference," he added.

"I am sure Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton — who famously spends a good deal of his time composing press releases about Religious Liberty issues in other states — will be proud to see that Texas's robust Religious Liberty laws, which he so vociferously champions, will prevent future Abortion Rituals from being interrupted by superfluous government restrictions meant only to shame and harass those seeking an abortion," the statement continues.



The Temple says its access to abortion pills is made possible by a precedent set by the Supreme Court's 2014 Hobby Lobby decision. The decision prevents the government from putting a "burden on free exercise of religion without a compelling reason."

The Satanic Temple places a very high priority on bodily autonomy. Its third tenet reads: "One's body is inviolable, subject to one's own will alone. One's body is inviolable, subject to one's own will alone."

This isn't the first time that the Temple has fought for the separation of church and state. It caused a huge stir in 2018 when it protested a Ten Commandments monument erected outside of the Arkansas state Capitol.

To make a statement about religious freedom the Temple revealed an eight-and-a-half-foot, half-man, half-goat Baphomet statue in front of the building.

"If you're going to have one religious monument up then it should be open to others, and if you don't agree with that then let's just not have any at all," Satanic Arkansas cofounder Ivy Forrester, said at the rally.

A trial was supposed to begin last year to settle the issue but it was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hail Satan!

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Macy's and Girls Inc. believe that all girls deserve to be safe, supported, and valued. However, racial disparities continue to exist for young people when it comes to education levels, employment, and opportunities for growth. Add to that the gender divide, and it's clear to see why it's important for girls of color to have access to mentors who can equip them with the tools needed to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers.

Anissa Rivera is one of those mentors. Rivera is a recent Program Manager at the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc., a nonprofit focusing on the holistic development of girls ages 5-18. The goal of the organization is to provide a safe space for girls to develop long-lasting mentoring relationships and build the skills, knowledge, and attitudes to thrive now and as adults.

Rivera spent years of her career working within the themes of self and community empowerment with young people — encouraging them to tap into their full potential. Her passion for youth development and female empowerment eventually led her to Girls Inc., where she served as an agent of positive change helping to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.

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Inspiring young women from all backgrounds is why Macy's has continued to partner with Girls Inc. for the second year in a row. The partnership will support mentoring programming that offers girls career readiness, college preparation, financial literacy, and more. Last year, Macy's raised over $1.3M for Girls Inc. in support of this program along with their Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programming for more than 26,000 girls. Studies show that girls who participated are more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, score higher on standardized math tests, and be more equipped for college and campus life.

Thanks to mentors like Rivera, girls across the country have the tools they need to excel in school and the confidence to change the world. With your help, we can give even more girls the opportunity to rise up. Throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases or donate online to support Girls Inc. at Macys.com/MacysGives.

Who runs the world? Girls!

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Over the past six years, it feels like race relations have been on the decline in the U.S. We've lived through Donald Trump's appeals to America's racist underbelly. The nation has endured countless murders of unarmed Black people by police. We've also been bombarded with viral videos of people calling the police on people of color for simply going about their daily lives.

Earlier this year there was a series of incidents in which Asian-Americans were the targets of racist attacks inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given all that we've seen in the past half-decade, it makes sense for many to believe that race relations in the U.S. are on the decline.

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Did you know that girls who are encouraged to discover and develop their strengths tend to be more likely to achieve their goals? It's true. The question, however, is how to encourage girls to develop self-confidence and grow up healthy, educated, and independent.

The answer lies in Girls Inc., a national nonprofit serving girls ages 5-18 in more than 350 cities across North America. Since first forming in 1864 to serve girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War, they've been on a mission to inspire girls to kick butt and step into leadership roles — today and in the future.

This is why Macy's has committed to partnering with Girls Inc. and making it easy to support their mission. In a national campaign running throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases to the nearest dollar or donate online to support Girls Inc. and empower girls throughout the country.


Kaylin St. Victor, a senior at Brentwood High School in New York, is one of those girls. She became involved in the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc. when she was in 9th grade, quickly becoming a role model for her peers.

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Within her first year in the organization, she bravely took on speaking opportunities and participated in several summer programs focused on advocacy, leadership, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). "The women that I met each have a story that inspires me to become a better person than I was yesterday," said St. Victor. She credits her time at Girls Inc. with making her stronger and more comfortable in her own skin — confidence that directly translates to high achievement in education and the workforce.

In 2020, Macy's helped raise $1.3 million in support of their STEM and college and career readiness programming for more than 26,000 girls. In fact, according to a recent study, Girls Inc. girls are significantly more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, to be interested in STEM careers, and to perform better on standardized math tests.

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