Just a few days ago Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law anti-abortion regulations that has slapped the hornet’s nest in the left front yard. In one protest photo I saw a sign held up by a woman that said, “Abortion saves lives!” A statement so blatantly counterfactual it would be hilarious if not so tragic.
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in her dissenting opinion of the new Texas law, “The Court should not be so content to ignore its constitutional obligations to protect not only the rights of women, but also the sanctity of its precedents and of the rule of law. I dissent.” 1 The “sanctity of its precedents”? I have no doubt Sotomayor used the word ‘sanctity’ for a very specific purpose. Look up the word sanctity and you will see it means, ‘the state or quality of being holy, sacred, or saintly.’ Does it bother you that Sotomayor has equated the prior rulings of the Supreme Court with being sacred, holy, or saintly? It should.
The term sanctity is grounded in creation; man is not a random accident but designed by an eternal God. He has given us value, purpose, and dignity. Genesis 1:26-27
Sotomayor also wrote, “Presented with an application to enjoin a flagrantly unconstitutional law engineered to prohibit women from exercising their constitutional rights and evade judicial scrutiny, a majority of Justices have opted to bury their heads in the sand.” 1 I can’t help but wonder where does the Constitution address the right to have an abortion? Ya, it doesn’t.
Speaker of the House Nancy 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.” 2 It should be pointed out that when Pelosi and others on the left talk about abortion, they always couch it with phrases of women’s health, women’s rights, and toss in the word Constitutional as if the Constitution has something to say about the right to an abortion, all the while ignoring the health of the unborn.
The left would have everyone believe the unborn has no value, no weight in terms of ethical consideration or purpose, and in fact, having an abortion is of no moral significance whatsoever. The left tells us abortion has to do with a woman’s choice, financial hardship, incidents of rape and incest, but they all skirt the real issue, what is being aborted? Does that matter? Is the unborn human?
A couple of weeks ago the abortion issue came up in our Sunday morning men’s group and I taught on the various arguments pro-choice advocates would use.
If the unborn is human, then we should rightfully admire those who choose to do the actions of placing others, (the unborn) before themselves. If the unborn is human, then we should feel obligated to protect persons so helpless. Throughout history, we have admired and aspired to be like those who protect the innocent, the helpless, the weak, or the powerless. Proverbs 31:8-9
Some may say the unborn is not alive before brain activity, (about 25 weeks) or before the heart begins to beat, (roughly 3 to 4 weeks after conception). But then we can ask if the fetus is not alive, why do we need to abort it? It is amusing, those who work professionally in the field of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) have no question about when life begins. Their success is based on the fertilization of the egg by the sperm, and at that moment, cell division begins. So at that instant and not a moment later, the professionals claim success.
The word fetus does not tell us what something is but rather the age of life. We have words like embryo, infant, toddler, teen, and adult, which all describe stages of human life, not if something is human. The value of a baby is determined by what it IS, not its age.
Peter Singer, a professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, says to be a person you must be rational, conscious, and self-aware. Singer, who also supports infanticide (murdering of infants after they are born), said, “Newborn human babies have no sense of their own existence over time. So killing a newborn baby is never equivalent to killing a person…” 3 So we should ask the question why is the unborn not rational, conscious, and self-aware? It has nothing to do with their lack of humanity, but rather having insufficient time to develop. Why is an amoeba not rational, conscious, and self-aware? Because it is not human. Even given time, the amoeba will never become rational, conscious, or self-aware.
Our inherent value as humans has nothing to do with our size, level of development, environment, or degree of dependency. You can use the acronym SLED to help you remember.
S Equating the value of a person on how large or small they are is silly. Would anyone dispute this? Are football players more valuable due to their size? Are parents more valuable than their children? Height or size has nothing to do with the value of a person. Picture a 600-pound sumo, and tell me the sumo wrestler has greater value than a child he may be holding.
L Does the value of a human being lessen because of their level of development? Is a 13-year-old 8th-grade boy more valuable than a 5-year-old kindergarten girl? If the level of development matters, then anyone prior to puberty would have less value than someone past puberty. The same would be true from an infant to a toddler, or a newborn to an infant. Does a fetus in the first trimester have less value than one in the 2nd trimester? Some might argue that point, but if that is true, then we should be able to apply that to everyone. Obviously, we can’t, so the level of development cannot determine the value of a human being.
E Does your value increase or decrease depending on your environment or location? Do you have more value because you are at work rather than at home? Does your value change from one room to another? Do those in another county have a different worth? Do astronauts have greater or lesser value when they orbit the earth or walk on the moon? Does a newborn’s value change when they have traveled from the mother’s uterus, through the birth canal, to the hands of a waiting physician or parent? One’s environment or location cannot determine value.
D Finally, as a child grows and matures, do they have greater value as the months pass and they become less and less dependent? Do those that collect welfare have less value than those contributing to our tax base and have full-time work? Do those working full-time have more value than those working part-time? Does someone in a coma have less value than their family member at their bedside? If a toddler falls into a swimming pool, and they are dependent on us to save them, are they less valuable? How about those who need dialysis or heart medication on a weekly basis; is their significance lessened due to the medication they need? The degree of dependency does not alter the value of human life.
That is what we are talking about, human life. Not a lump of tissue, but a life with inherent value and sanctity. A life that, if left unchecked, would grow into an adult that may fall in love, be loved, and love those around them. There is nothing intrinsically sacred or holy about laws passed by Sotomayor or any other court.
The Bible is consistently active in its support for the poor, widows, orphans, oppressed, handicapped, and the helpless. Any law passed must wrestle with the impact it may have on human life. Laws passed to end human life will ultimately cheapen human life, value, and dignity. A journey down that road will lead to those in positions of power to determine their life being more valuable than your own. Segregation like the world has never seen will begin, and I believe already has. Their decisions, words, and self-proclaimed wisdom will be what is holy and sacred, not you.
Sotomayor’s Sacred Words by James W Glazier is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
- United States, Sotomayor, J., Supreme Court of the United States, No. 21A24, “WHOLE WOMAN’S HEALTH ET AL. v. AUSTIN REEVE JACKSON, JUDGE, ET AL. 1 Sept. 2021
- Speaker.gov, Newsroom, “Pelosi Statement on Supreme Court Shadow Ruling on Texas Reproductive Rights Case,” Press Release, 2 Sept. 2021
- Chasmar, Jessica. “Princeton bioethics professor faces calls for resignation over infanticide support.” The Washington Times. washingtontimes.com 16 June 2015. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jun/16/peter-singer-princeton-bioethics-professor-faces-c/