A well-known Satanic organisation in the United States is to hold a national "hugs and kisses" Valentine's Day event as part of a pro-abortion fundraiser.

The Satanic Temple, a liberal group known for its run-ins with Christian groups across the country, says the event on 14 February will see its supporters give others hugs and kisses in exchange for a donation.

It advises Satanists and others planning to take part to "be polite and respectful at all times" and to ensure any hug or kiss is consensual.

The group added: "You might want to present a person you approach with a Satanic Valentine's card as means to courteously explain the event."

Organisers say the unusual fundraiser will help raise money for two pro-abortion lawsuits The Satanic Temple has filed against the US state of Missouri.

The group, founded in 2014, says it objects to a mandatory 72-hour waiting period before an abortion can be performed, and to women being forced to read materials that claim life begins at conception.

"They violate our belief in the inviolability of one's body," the secularist group alleges.

The lawsuits have been filed on religious grounds at the state and federal level on behalf of a pregnant woman seeking an abortion in the state.

The Satanic Temple, led by Lucien Greaves, has its headquarters in Salem, Massachusetts but runs chapters across the country.

The group says it promotes "compassion and empathy" towards others, while at the same time rejecting supernaturalism and maintaining that "beliefs should conform to our best scientific understanding of the world".

Last year, efforts to expose the mixture of church and state saw a school in Portland, Oregon, forced to grant the group's request to host a Satanic after-school programme to provide an alternative to clubs run by evangelical Christian organisations in many schools across the US.

Writing for IBTimes UK at the time, Greaves said the Christian Good News Clubs "serve to indoctrinate children from ages 5-12 years of age into a superstitious paranoia of death, eternal torment, and Hell".