Missouri AG Lies about Abortion Lawsuit
Andrew Bailey claims he's fighting against Satanists
Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey went on a local radio station this week and lied about the religious freedom challenge to the state’s abortion ban. In an interview with 93.9 The Eagle yesterday, Bailey claimed that the lawsuit being heard by a St. Louis judge today is being led by Satanists:
“What’s important to understand is who the plaintiff is here, and it’s the Church of Satan. [They’ve] declared that their religious right to kill babies has been violated by Missouri’s heartbeat bill that protects innocent life and the health of women and children.”
Here’s the thing. The religious freedom lawsuit was not brought by the Church of Satan. The suit, which argues that lawmakers are using the ban to impose their religious beliefs, is being led by Americans United for Separation of Church & State and the National Women’s Law Center on behalf of Christian, Jewish and Unitarian Universalist leaders. (The Satanic Temple challenged Missouri’s pre-Dobbs abortion law in 2015, but the case was dismissed years ago.)
Now, you can probably guess why Bailey is interested in describing the challenge against the state’s abortion ban as some kind of battle between good and evil: Abortion rights are winning elections, bans are incredibly unpopular, and—most importantly—Missouri abortion rights advocates are trying to pass a pro-choice ballot measure. With the issue likely heading to voters in 2024, Bailey is eager to plant negative messages about abortion rights where ever he can—truth be damned!
And remember, Bailey has spent months trying to derail the pro-choice measure in Missouri: After holding up signature gathering-efforts for the amendment and pressuring the state auditor to claim that restoring abortion rights would cost Missouri billions of dollars, Bailey had to be forced by the state Supreme Court to allow the measure to move forward. Most recently, Bailey threatened to refuse to enforce the law if a pro-choice amendment passed, saying that the state would have to hire outside counsel to the tune of $21 million.
The only thing Bailey might be as obsessed with as abortion is calling things Satanic: In July, for example, he signed onto a letter accusing Target of selling “Satanist-inspired” clothing for children. And in an interview about Missouri’s restrictions around gender-affirming care, Bailey called LGBTQ rights “the godless reformation” and claimed that “the rights found in the Bill of Rights come from God, not man.”
Not exactly the kind of language Republicans should be using if they’re trying to win a religious freedom lawsuit! Just like Bailey probably shouldn’t be depicting the challenge as a fight between the state and Satanists.