A woman who has carried a child in her womb only to lose that child to miscarriage before coming to full term frequently feels an intense amount of grief and even guilt, believing that she somehow contributed to the death of her child. It would be an insult to tell her that she was never actually a mother anyway, and that her child wasn’t ever really even a child, so there’s nothing to grieve. There is obviously a biological relationship between the child in the womb and the parents of that child. While women may certainly become mothers in other ways — such as through adoption — it is undeniable that there is a link between the child in the womb and the woman carrying that child — the child’s biological mother. This is true, whether that mother carries to term, miscarries, or even has an abortion.
Sadly, it appears that one member of the highest court in the United States disagrees, seeing no apparent reason to call pregnant women “mothers.” This week, in the ruling Box v. Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who is staunchly pro-abortion, claimed that a “woman who exercises her constitutionally protected right to terminate a pregnancy is not a ‘mother’.”
Unfortunately for Ginsburg, the science proves that there is a biological connection between that woman and her preborn child… forever. Studies have revealed that fetal stem cells from the preborn baby migrate into the mother’s bloodstream and frequently remain inside the mother’s organs for a lifetime. Some research has shown that these stem cells may even do repair work in the mother’s body and benefit the mother’s health decades later. So while Ginsburg may try to deny a link between mother and child thanks to her politics, biology isn’t quite so political.
Some pro-abortion organizations as well as post-abortive, pro-abortion women have claimed that abortion is a “parenting decision,” a decision just like any other made by a mother for her child. Obviously, these groups and women don’t even agree with Ginsburg’s assertion.
Dr. Gerard Nadal, Ph.D., a molecular biologist and president and CEO of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer, noted in his Coming Home blog this week that Ginsburg’s remark about motherhood — coming in objection to the idea that aborted children should be afforded cremation or burial instead of being disposed of as medical waste — “harkens to the infamous Dred Scott decision, where Chief Justice Taney ruled that no black, slave or free, could claim U.S. citizenship. The parallels are as striking as they are revolting.” Nadal notes that in the Dred Scott decision, Black people “were 60% of the way to personhood status under the law. The Dred Scott decision stripped them entirely of personhood status and went further to encompass free blacks as well.”
He goes on to draw parallels with Roe v. Wade — a decision with which Justice Ginsberg, of course, agrees — saying that in that case, “the justices declared that they could not tell definitively when human life began, and agonizingly deployed the medieval concept of Quickening in defense of this nebulous boundary between being human and non-human–a boundary that science has NEVER recognized at all. The product of human fertilization is a new human from the moment of fertilization….”
“So,” he writes, “blacks are not persons when we wish to own them as slaves, nor are even free blacks persons when their humanity points to the humanity of blacks languishing in chains. Similarly, pregnant women who wish to abort their children are not mothers if the humanity of wanted babies and motherhood status of the women bearing them might point to the humanity of unwanted babies and the motherhood status of the women seeking their demise. Again, and again, and again, we repeat the same tragic errors of history.”
“Either we see personhood as an intrinsic status that comes with being a human animal/organism, a human being, or we treat personhood as a status conferred on certain human organisms by an intellectual and political elite. We consistently choose the latter,” Nadal says, in decisions like Dred Scott, Buck v. Bell, Plessy v. Ferguson, as well as Roe and the decisions upholding it.
Perhaps Ginsburg knows the truth — but suppresses it. Allan Parker of The Justice Foundation notes in a press release that in the 2007 Gonzalez v. Carhart decision, the Supreme Court — including Ginsburg — agreed that “some women come to regret their choice to abort the infant life they once created and sustained…. Severe depression and loss of esteem can follow.” Parker goes on to say, “Justice Ginsburg has previously stated in in Gonzalez v. Carhart that she agrees with the majority that abortion is a ‘painful and difficult’ decision. The fact that women somehow know they are ‘mothers’ is why it is a difficult and painful decision for everyone.”
Exactly. Suppressing this truth does not help women, and it does not help society. Abortion kills human beings, and sets mothers against their children, as if they are enemies instead of offspring. Justice Ginsburg may wish to believe that women who have abortions aren’t really mothers, but rejecting the role of “mother” cannot change the biology or the facts.
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