Pro-abortion advocates are up in arms about the recent decision of the U. S. Supreme Court to not hear an emergency appeal aimed at putting a stop to a recently passed “heartbeat” bill in Texas that prohibits abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, around 6 weeks after conception, thus allowing the law to take effect on September 1. Critics say that the law will effectively end abortion in Texas, since many women don’t even realize they’re pregnant at that point. I hope they’re right.
Almost certainly, the reason the SCOTUS refused to consider the appeal for the Texas bill is because they have already agreed to review a similar Mississippi law that bans almost all abortions after 15 weeks. Five of the nine justices, it seems, regarded it as redundant to consider both bills. However, pro-abortion advocates are concerned that the justices would allow a law banning abortions so early in the pregnancy to take effect. Many are worried that both the Texas and Mississippi laws will give the so-called conservative majority on the Court an opportunity to overturn Roe v. Wade.
It’s getting ugly. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has said she plans to put forward legislation in the House of Representatives that would codify Roe v. Wade. Pelosi said, “The Supreme Court’s cowardly, dark-of-night decision to uphold a flagrantly unconstitutional assault on women’s rights and health is staggering. That this radically partisan Court chose to do so without a full briefing, oral arguments or providing a full, signed opinion is shameful.” Of course, the Court only decided not to consider the Texas law, so no “full briefing, oral arguments” or “full, signed opinion” were warranted. This is just Pelosi blowing steam in order to confuse people. The “full briefing, oral arguments” and “full, signed opinion” will come with their review of the Mississippi law. Any legislation passed by the House intending to codify Roe v. Wade will die in the Senate.
MSNBC host Tiffany Cross repeated the “handmaid” slur against Justice Amy Coney Barrett. Decrying what she called the hypocrisy of the Republicans in opposing gun control and mask mandates while claiming to be pro-life, she stated, “If it feels like they really must hate women in Texas and all across the country, how is it possible the Supreme Court allowed this to stand? I know that they haven’t ruled on it, but they can rule later. But we have an actual handmaid on the court. So I have to tell you, I’m not so excited about depending on them to protect me and my right to choose.” Realizing that a professional news broadcaster would slander a Supreme Court justice with such a bigoted slur on national television demonstrates how desperate our media elites have grown in the effort to push their agenda, and how low our media standards have become. Of course, Ms. Cross has suffered no consequences for her blatant religious bigotry.
Needless to say, the ruling has inspired renew calls from some Democrats get rid of the Senate filibuster (the rule that requires sixty votes to pass certain types of legislation) and pack the Supreme Court. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) tweeted, “Republicans promised to overturn Roe v Wade, and they have. Democrats can either abolish the filibuster and expand the court, or do nothing as millions of peoples’ bodies, rights, and lives are sacrificed for far-right minority rule. This shouldn’t be a difficult decision.” It’s interesting, and disturbing, that Ocasio-Cortez would employ the language of sacrificing rights and lives in response to a Court decision that will allow, at least temporarily, the state of Texas to put a halt to at least some of the killing by abortion that’s been going on for the last several decades. Rep. Mondaire Jones, another New York Democrat, wrote, “There is no middle ground when it comes to fundamental rights and liberties. There is only one way to take seriously the threat of the Supreme Court majority and protect millions of Americans. We must #ExpandTheCourt.” Again, the language of preserving fundamental rights and liberties, though clearly Rep. Jones doesn’t intend that to apply to those Americans in the womb. Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) some time ago introduced legislation in the Senate to pack the Court. In response to the Texas decision, Markey wrote, “This Supreme Court abortion ruling cannot be the last word. Senate Democrats have the power to fix this problem right now by abolishing the filibuster and passing my legislation to expand the Supreme Court.” Still, it’s not likely that the Democrats will succeed in abolishing the filibuster and packing the Court, since Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has made it clear on several occasions that he has no interest doing either.
Finally, in his own response to the Court’s decision not to consider the emergency appeal to stop the Texas law, President Biden announced his new position on when life begins. For years Biden, our “devout Catholic” president, has been saying that he embraces the Catholic Church’s teaching that life begins at the moment of conception. In reality, though, this isn’t really a matter of faith. It’s a matter of accepting the biological reality. Biologically, life does begin at the moment of conception. The moment the female’s ovum is fertilized by the male’s sperm, the newly formed life immediately takes on the characteristics of life consistent with that stage of human development. It starts to grow and inexorably proceeds toward the fulfillment of its biological purpose: to develop into a fully mature human person. This mission will be accomplished so long as no interior or exterior force imposes itself on the newly formed life. There is not question that the blastocyst formed by the union of ovum and sperm is alive, and is human. President Biden, our “devout Catholic” president, however, dismisses this biological fact in favor of his belief that life does not begin at conception. In an answer to a reporter’s question about abortion on Friday, Biden said, “I respect those who believe life begins at the moment of conception. I don’t agree, but I respect that. I’m not going to impose that on people. I have been and continue to be a strong supporter of Roe v Wade, number one … I respect them, those who believe life begins at the moment of conception and all, I respect that. Don’t agree, but I respect that.” This stands in stark contrast to what Biden has declared in the past, including in the 2007 Vice-presidential debate with then Rep. Paul Ryan. During the debate, Biden said, “Life begins at conception, that‘s the Church’s judgment. I accept it in my personal life.” Biden said he would not impose his personal belief on others, which is why he supported abortion. Of course, Biden has no trouble imposing his support for abortion on pro-life persons, including demanding that they pay for abortions with their tax dollars. How is it that Biden can claim that he respects those who believe that life begins at the moment of conception, then force them to pay for abortions? The man is the definition of hypocrisy! The day after the Supreme Court ruling on the Texas law, Biden directed his team to investigate what steps the Federal government could take to secure access to abortion in Texas.
There’s no question that the Texas and Mississippi laws are going to drastically change the American landscape on abortion if they’re allowed to stand. Our culture has grown so accustomed to legalized abortion on demand, while most people still fail to appreciate how radical our abortion laws are, that even many who are appalled by abortion may reel back a bit and wonder if Texas, Mississippi, and the slew of other states that will doubtless follow their examples if allowed, have gone too far. No, we aren’t going to witness the end of abortion in America. There will be plenty of states, likely a majority, that will continue to allow abortion and continue to let stand the very radical laws on abortion, perhaps demanding more even radical laws, pushing for partial-birth abortion and infanticide. Abortion laws will become a patchwork across the country, each state passing their own laws on abortion, depending on what their constituents are willing to tolerate.
The fear, perhaps even among those who are appalled by abortion, that states like Texas and Mississippi have gone too far, is rooted in our ignorance of or having forgotten what abortion is: the willful destruction of innocent human life. Somehow, our elites convinced themselves, and then went about the business of convincing everyone else, that these humans are not human. Why? Because they are sufficiently different from us. This is what allows us to justify their killing. They are sufficiently different from us that we can pretend that they might not count as human at all. The justification was necessary because there was an influential group of people who wanted the power to get rid of these other people, and we wanted to make those influential people happy. It was politically, socially and/or cultural beneficial to do so. So, others needed to be sacrificed, and their sacrifice needed to be justified. The sacrifice was justified on the basis that those needing to be sacrificed were sufficiently different from us that they didn’t really count as people at all.
This same justification – those who are sufficiently different from us – has been used by the powerful to destroy those who lack power over the millennia of human existence. It’s almost a self-defense mechanism. We are appalled, normally, at the idea of killing people. Yet, when we determine that it becomes necessary to do so, we adopt psychological means by which we make the killing easier, if not justifiable. The most common way of doing this, of course, is to de-humanize the one we desire to kill. In World War II, for instance, we didn’t kill the Germans and Japanese. We killed the Krauts and Nips. In Vietnam, we killed the Gooks. We use these de-humanizing nicknames to make our killing easier. In the case of capital punishment, it’s easy to justify our killing by explaining to ourselves that the one we are killing is a “monster,” or some other non-human pejorative. All genocides are based on the assumption that the group targeted for destruction is somehow a threat to civilized (read: human) society. Of course, the same justification is not limited to killing. It’s also used for slavery, or any other example of one group of people wanting to justify their subjugation of another group. The first task is to de-humanize the other.
We have to re-shape our thinking. We have to go back to a time when we recognized the humanity of the one in the womb and when we couldn’t conceive of killing our children, or of justifying their killing by de-humanizing them. We have to stop thinking that honoring the dignity of women means conceding their right to kill their children. It is moral insanity to claim that the dignity of one group of people is contingent on their possessing the right to kill another group of innocent people. If we can impact society in such a way that at least some of our states are no longer willing to tolerate the indiscriminate killing of our children for whatever reason a mother and her doctor can mutually decide upon, then we have some hope yet of regaining our collective conscience and directing it toward the true, the good, and the beautiful. Please God, make it so.
Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.