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Satanists want to use Hobby Lobby decision to exempt women from anti-abortion laws

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In a statement, the Satanic Temple said that it will use the Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby decision to exempt its believers from state-mandated informed consent laws that require women considering abortions to read pro-life material.

Informed consent or “right to know” laws state that women seeking elective abortions be provided with information about alternatives to the procedure, often couched in language that attempts to personify the fetus. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 35 states currently have informed consent laws, and of those, 33 require that the woman be told the gestational age of the fetus.

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In some states, that information consists of pro-life propaganda that links abortion to a higher incidence of breast and ovarian cancers, or discusses “post-abortion syndrome,” a mental condition not recognized by any major medical or psychiatric organization.

Because the Satanic Temple bases its belief “regarding personal health…on the best scientific understanding of the world, regardless of the religious or political beliefs of others,” it claims that state-mandated information with no basis in scientific fact violates its “religious” beliefs.

Spokesperson Lucien Greaves said that the Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby decision bolsters their case. “While we feel we have a strong case for an exemption regardless of the Hobby Lobby ruling,” he said, “the Supreme Court has decided that religious beliefs are so sacrosanct that they can even trump scientific fact. This was made clear when they allowed Hobby Lobby to claim certain contraceptives were abortifacients, which in fact they are not.”

The Satanic Temple set up a website where women seeking an abortion can print out a letter for her healthcare provider explaining why she is exempt from informed consent mandates.

The letter reads that “[a]ll women who share our deeply held belief that their personal choices should be made with access to the best available information, undiluted by biased or false information, are free to seek protection with this exemption whether they are members of the Satanic Temple or not.”

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Virus-hit cruise ship arrives in Florida — and another on way

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A virus-hit cruise ship with dozens of ill passengers and crew docked in Florida on Thursday after being barred from several South American countries, concluding a harrowing time at sea for those stranded aboard.

The Zaandam, operated by Holland America Line, tied up at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, and its sister ship the Rotterdam was not far behind.

Their arrival comes after days of protracted negotiations about whether they should be allowed to enter Florida, and how they could safely dock and disembark -- as concerns mounted for the passengers.

Four people have died on the Zaandam, for reasons not yet disclosed.

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Officials in two states issue cease-and-desist letters after Hobby Lobby defies coronavirus lockdowns

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On Thursday, The New York Times reported that officials in two states have sent cease-and-desist orders to Hobby Lobby, the Oklahoma-based crafts store, accusing them of defying stay at home orders imposed to fight the spread of coronavirus.

"W. Eric Kuhn, the senior assistant state attorney general of Colorado, where there are 10 stores, sent a cease-and-desist letter to the company after it had reopened its stores in the state this week," wrote Neil Vigdor. "The letter said the company’s actions violated a March 25 executive order signed by Gov. Jared Polis directing Coloradans to stay at home and requiring all businesses to close that were not designated by state health officials as critical."

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‘This is not the time for politics’: Trump whines about congressional investigations into his coronavirus failures

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President Donald Trump complained about congressional investigations during his Thursday Coronavirus Task Force briefing.

"I want to remind everyone here in our nation's capital -- especially in Congress -- that this is not the time for politics," Trump claimed.

"Endless partisan investigations -- here we go again -- have already done extraordinary damage to our country in recent years," he continued.

Trump argued that Congress should not investigate the multiple failures of Trump's response to the pandemic that have been the focus of shocking reporting in recent months.

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