Kavanaugh Hearings – Our Issues
U.S. Senate hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh started this week. Events of recent decades show the Supreme Court can have a profound impact on our issues. As of this writing, euthanasia (assisted suicide) came up only in a discussion of the Glucksberg case – its “test,” not its anti-euthanasia holding. On the death penalty, Kavanaugh mentioned how a couple of Justices opposed it, but only as an illustration of justices continuing to not accept precedent on principle, with no indication of what Kavanaugh himself thinks. Racism came up frequently, and Kavanaugh was eloquent and knowledgeable in his denunciation of it. War was discussed as a question of separation of powers, and he also denied having anything to do with the “enhanced interrogation” torture program the Bush administration had while he was working for it (though he didn’t denounce it). The big issue was abortion, which was visited constantly in the questioning. Those who regard a possible overturning of Roe v. Wade with alarm are quite sure he’d overturn Roe. Yet in the hearings he followed the normal nominee’s route of refusing to state a position. The evidence we have suggests that he might vote to overturn Roe should a case arise (and there are cases already in the pipeline). He might only allow for some laws protecting against abortion while leaving the core of Roe intact. Or he might be another Anthony Kennedy (for whom he clerked, and whom he named as a Justice he especially admired) and we may be stuck with the extreme holdings of Roe for a while more. We need to be prepared for all three contingencies.
In the hearings, Senator Kamala Harris questioned Brett Kavanaugh about whether there were laws limiting male bodies, much to his puzzlement. Harris’s question comes from a rigid “pro-choice” view that sees abortion bans as nothing other than an imposition on female bodies. But the only reasonable justification for a legal ban of abortion is that it’s killing a human being. And for almost all of the pro-life movement, the proposed laws target those individuals who are actually doing the killing; there are solid reasons for this. While in theory there’s no gender consideration for who performs abortions, in the U.S. we can document that doctors who have abortion as a major part of their practice are mostly men. In the early years after Roe, it was the vast majority, but an influx of women into the field has decreased the proportion of male abortionists to about two-thirds (count them up on this list). By contrast, about a half of ob-gyns are men.
Latest CLN Blog Post Informal face-to-face dialogues are a major way of spreading the consistent life ethic – and sometimes they happen to us in the normal course of living and can’t be helped. Rachel MacNair offers some Tips for Dialogue from her own experience, and invites others to share tips as well.
Quotation of the Week Aaron Wilson The pro-choice language pro-lifers need to drop Baptist Press, Southern Baptist Convention Of course, even the most precise pro-life terminology means little if not accompanied by pro-life action administered in love. Christians must be willing to back up life-honoring words with deeds that extend love to those who are wrestling with decisions that affect life. And the church must show it values all of life, in all circumstances, to demonstrate a consistent ethic to a watching world.
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