Satanic BDSM Babies Crash Anti-Abortion Protest to expose “Fetal Idolatry”

The Satanic Temple of Detroit employs guerilla-theatre to expose fetal idolatry and the perpetuation of fictional, coercive propaganda against Planned Parenthood.

Photo by Bruno Vanzieleghem

In response to the nationwide Planned Parenthood protest on April 23, members of The Satanic Temple of Detroit crashed the event dressed in bondage fetish wear, baby masks and diapers and engaged in group flagellation. The performers were then painted gold by adoring fetal idolizers. The action was intended to expose fetal idolatry and the perpetuation of fictional, coercive propaganda against the reproductive health organization. The Satanic Temple (TST) believes that the anti-choice movement’s obsession with, and mischaracterization of the fetus obscures medical reality and a woman’s constitutional right to choice. Enlarged images of fetuses which are no larger than an inch and the personalization of mindless, senseless human embryos elevates the fetus to the status of a demigod.

Video by Matt Anderson

The highly politicized anti-choice movement advocates for the abolition of Planned Parenthood, an organization that provides critical preventive and primary reproductive health care services to low-income women. The current cornerstone of their argument stems from a fabricated, fictional story that clinics “sell baby parts for profit”. Organizers of the April 23rd protest, entitled #ProtestPP, directly intended to irresponsibly perpetuate this contrived story in an attempt to leverage misunderstanding for political gain and impose the moral opinions of some upon a diverse community.

Despite the fact that a Texas grand jury cleared Planned Parenthood of all allegations and the producers of the misleading videos have been indicted on felony charges, anti-choice organizers have adopted the tactics of holding protests outside clinics alongside startling, exaggerated posters of fetal images suffused with language of scandal and crime to make them more potent. The strategy of elevating tiny human em­br­yos and fetuses to a rever­ence creates a fantasy in which the maternal body is both erased and criminalized.

The Satanic organization believes that all people are entitled to make informed decisions about their health, family and future without coercion. The philosophical and religious opinions of some should not be used legislate morality. The attempt to do so violates American foundational values of freedom and liberty. The Detroit chapter employs grotesque, fetishized visuals to draw parallels to the approach of the anti-choice movement with a focus on bodies, eroticism and powerful imagery as a tool to communicate complex ideas.

This action completes a cycle of guerilla theatre performances at anti-abortion protests over the last year. The first, involved milk-boarding women who’s hands were bound in prayer as a comment on “forced motherhood,” the second was a Good Friday counter-protest which highlighted the burden of religious dogma on women, and this past weekend the group utilized fetishized babies to expose the anti-choice movement’s obsession with the “pre-born” for what it really is — fetal idolatry. Rather in engaging in traditional forms of protest, political theatre is employed as a creative mode of communication to disrupt these demonstrations, reframe the issue, expose the absurdity of the anti-choice position, and ultimately, transfer power to a faction who struggles to combat the sensationalist message of the “pro-lifers”.

In addition to engaging anti-abortion protests, The Satanic Temple has been involved in a number of reproductive health initiatives including current state and federal lawsuits against the state of Missouri on behalf of Mary Doe, a pregnant woman seeking an abortion. Missouri law requires that all women seeking to lawfully terminate their pregnancy must be given reading material claiming that life begins at conception, and they must endure a 72-hour waiting period between their initial appointment and their actual abortion procedure. TST objects to these restrictions on religious grounds because they violate our belief in the inviolability of one’s body.

For more information about The Satanic Temple’s reproductive rights campaigns, please visit http://religiousreproductiverights.com.