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The Middle Way

By Judie Brown

The upcoming Supreme Court case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization has many pro-life people all atwitter. Leaked information aside, there are so many ways the decision might go that it is hard to put your best guess forward. Yet in a recent article, Jonathon Van Maren has taken a shot at that, providing a very good overview.

He cites an article in the National Review entitled “Doubting the Chief Justice?” by Ed Whelan, who quoted from a recent Wall Street Journal article speculating that Chief Justice Roberts might “be trying ‘to find a middle way’ and ‘to pull another Justice to his side,’ and thus prevent a majority ruling that would overturn Roe.”

This is an interesting opinion that contains a pivotal kernel of truth. From our perspective it makes sense that the Supreme Court would do anything it could to avoid addressing the humanity of the child during pregnancy, even if that means massaging the language. As Whelan writes, quoting Chief Justice Roberts on the question of overturning Roe v. Wade: “The immediate aftermath of the overruling of Roe might well be messy and contentious. But unless concerns over the court’s legitimacy are mere camouflage for the court’s self-aggrandizement, a sound institutionalism must also respect the legitimacy of the state legislatures that our Constitution leaves with primary authority over abortion policy.”

Such convoluted thinking is buried in the three words “the middle way.” Such gobbledygook reflects a human desire to do anything possible to avoid addressing head on the only fact that matters—that every abortion takes someone’s life in a callous and violent way. Even the chemical action of a birth control pill acts the same way bullets act when they are fired at the victims of a violent war.

At a time like this, there is no middle way for the innocent. Many of them will die, and that is precisely what is intended. This is why I love quoting the wisdom of Mother Teresa, who said that abortion is a “war against the child.” In her defense of the innocent, Mother Teresa never minced words. She pled for the babies and never agreed that some could die for the sake of others.

Unlike Chief Justice Roberts, we understand the story of fetal development. We know that once a human being begins, her life deserves to be protected by law in the same way that yours and mine are protected. Perhaps someone needs to explain to Roberts that intentional killing of an innocent human being is always wrong. Such an act is not a topic for state lawmakers to be regulating as they see fit.

But then again, like others in the judiciary, Roberts knows that the Supreme Court has avoided the truth of the humanity of the preborn child ever since Chief Justice Blackmun wrote in the Roe v. Wade decision of January 22, 1973: “We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man’s knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer.”

Blackmun’s middle way is with us still, and sadly in its wake millions of innocents have gone quietly to their deaths.