Satanic Temple says members won't comply with new Texas abortion law requiring burial of aborted fetal tissue

The Satanic Temple issued a statement Saturday vowing to sue the state of Texas should health officials require members comply with new rules requiring aborted fetal tissue to be buried or cremated.

The statement claims burial rites are a "well-established component of religious practice" and thus go against religious freedom rights afforded to citizens by the First Amendment.

"For these reasons, members of The Satanic Temple are not required to comply with the Texas rule on fetal remains," the statement said. "Nevertheless, we will require legal support to protect the rights of our members."

Followers of the Satanic Temple are atheists who believe "one's body is inviolable, subject to one's own will alone." They believe Texas' new abortion laws contradict their fundamental beliefs.

"Clearly, the State of Texas has no compelling reason because these rules were not enacted to promote health and safety, but rather to harass and burden women who terminate their pregnancies," the statement read.

The abortion new rules, introduced by the Texas Health and Human Services department, are scheduled to take effect Dec. 19. They will prohibit hospitals, abortion clinics and other health care facilities from disposing of aborted fetal remains in sanitary landfills, according to the Texas Tribune.

Instead, the new rules require the remains to be cremated or buried. The rules currently allow for such materials to be incinerated or ground until they are rendered unrecognizable and disposed of in a sanitary landfill.

The rules were proposed under the direction of Texas Gov. Greg Abbot, who said in a fundraising email that the remains shouldn't be "treated like medical waste and disposed of in landfills," according to the Texas Tribune.

The rule would not apply to women who have abortions or miscarriages at home.