The Detroit chapter of the Satanic Temple held their own version of Good Friday this year, with its female chapter head, Jex Blackmore donning a crown of thorns and hoisting a cross.
Blackmore and fellow Satanists challenged an annual protest by the Pro-Life Action League outside the Ann Arbor Planned Parenthood, according to the Daily Beast. The Satanists called their action “Sanctions of the Cross.”
Blacmore carried the cross as a symbol of “the burden of oppressive mandates endured by women” along with a fake pregnancy belly, past a group of pro-life protesters — including a priest.
The group’s protest mimicked the Stations of the Cross, a Christian practice meant to commemorate the journey of Jesus to his crucifixion. According to the Bible, Jesus was forced to carry his own cross.
“In the current abortion debate, it’s not the fetus, nor the church that suffers—but women who bear the greatest burden,” Blackmore told the Beast.
Blackmore last made headlines in December when she had an abortion and blogged about it,
The Friday protest was meant to counter moves by state lawmakers to make abortion more difficult to access, like forcing abortion providers to become licensed, surgical outpatient facilities and by cutting funding to clinics that provide abortions.
“The Satanic Temple believes that all people are entitled to make informed decisions about their health, family and future without coercion,” the Satanists said in a press release. “The philosophical and religious opinions of some should not be used to legislate morality.”
Blackmore added, “The Satanic Temple believes that the body is inviolable, subject to our will alone. We consider theocratic reproductive mandates an attempt to control and degrade the individual.”