NEW YORK – Facing both a pro-abortion bill and the arrival of a self-described “satanic” abortion clinic, New Mexico’s bishops, shuddering at the thought of what more might be coming, are pleading with the state’s citizens to protect the sanctity of life.

Recently New Mexico has become the latest Democrat-led state to work towards expanding abortion rights after the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision last summer removed a federal abortion standard and left it up to the states to decide.

Meanwhile, the new abortion clinic, named the “Samuel Alito’s Mom’s Satanic Abortion Clinic,” is part of the Massachusetts-based “The Satanic Temple” reproductive rights organization. Recognized as a tax-exempt religious organization by the IRS, the organization seeks to expand access to medical abortions and conducts its own abortion ritual, according to its website.

Donations to the organization are tax-deductible, and may be made in amounts up to $666 using its website.

It’s unclear what the group’s “Religious Abortion Ritual” exactly entails. The organization describes it as a “protective rite,” the purpose of which is to “cast off unwanted feelings that a patient may be experiencing due to choosing to have a legal and medically safe abortion.”

In essence, it’s a ritual to reassure pregnant women that their decision to get an abortion is the right one.

Anyone in New Mexico seeking free abortion services from the organization must go through the ritual, according to a news release from the organization. In the same release, Malcolm Jarry, a co-founder of the organization, said the New Mexico clinic’s name comes from the fact that “in 1950, [Supreme Court Justice] Samuel Alito’s mother did not have options and look what happened.”

The state’s bishops were quick to condemn the initiative.

“The last thing we need in our state is a satanic temple from Massachusetts to offer free ‘reproductive health’ services,” New Mexico’s bishops said in a joint Feb. 7 statement. “We shudder to think what the ‘Religious Abortion Ritual’ that they require is all about.”

The statement also commented on “New Mexico House Bill 7: Reproductive & Gender-affirming Health Care.”

The bill, recently approved by the state’s Health and Human Services Committee, would mandate that public bodies – including state and local governments and school districts – not “restrict or interfere with a person’s ability to access” both reproductive health care and gender affirming care.

The New Mexico bishops focused on what it would mean for schools.

“It will force school teachers to facilitate abortions and even promote transgender surgeries among school children,” the bishops stated. “It is, in fact, the most radical bill of its kind in the nation and continues New Mexico’s penchant for rejecting the most vulnerable and weak among us.”

The statement was signed by Archbishop John Wester of Santa Fe, Bishop Peter Baldacchino of Las Cruces, Bishop James wall of Gallup, New Mexico Conference of Bishops executive director Allen Sánchez, and other staff members.

In it, they described the House bill as “satanic.”

“This bill is neither about care nor freedom, for it denies essential truths about God’s plan for humanity and seeks to supplant God’s vision with the lies and shackles of the evil one,” the statement reads.

The Catholic leaders asked the faithful to continue their pro-life advocacy.

“We, the Catholic Bishops of New Mexico, want to encourage all the faithful of the State of New Mexico, and indeed all men and women of goodwill, to continue to pray and work for a complete end to abortion in our state and in our nation, and for a thorough conversion of hearts to the Gospel of Life,” they said.

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