The Lawless Court

  A Nebraska law banning the murder of partially delivered infants was struck down yesterday by the Supreme Court. It's a classic example of judicial overreach. The Court refused to allow any impediment to the taking of innocent human life when a woman's right to abortion is at stake. This means that the gruesome procedure of partial-birth abortion, at least under the Nebraska circumstances, cannot at this time be stopped. By overruling the position taken by the legislature -- that is, the people of the State of Nebraska -- the court has once again said it knows better than the people, that it alone will say what the law is. This horrendous procedure, also known as "dilation and extraction," allows the abortionist to reach into a mother's womb, grasp her baby's feet, and deliver him -- except his head. He then punctures a hole in the baby's head, vacuums out his brains, crushing the skull, and delivers the dead child. This procedure is so repugnant that some nurses, like Brenda Pratt Shafer, who assisted with the procedure, have left the medical profession altogether. Sickened by what they saw, they vowed never again to take part in such an act -- and mind you, nurses are often among the strongest pro-choice advocates. But even without witnessing the act itself, more than sixty percent of the American people believe partial- birth abortions ought to be outlawed. Thirty states have passed bans to do so. Partial-birth abortion is the kind of horror it shouldn't take a law to stop; but the fact that this court would overturn Nebraska's ban is chilling. But even so, there's still hope, and Christians must not give up the fight to defend the most defenseless members of our society. In the first place, abortion advocates picked one of the weakest and most ambiguous cases to appeal to the Court. This decision was based on a law that was badly written. Nebraska's lawmakers did open themselves up to the charge of trying to stop all abortions. This gave our opponents their best opening. And the fact that the Court decided that killing nearly born infants is constitutional may yet move some who have been ambivalent about abortion to see this horrific practice for what it is. It is an educational opportunity. Every time this issue is publicized more and more people realize that partial-birth abortion kills an innocent child at the moment of delivery. And the further good news within yesterday's bad news is that the Court was narrowly divided over this issue, as indicated by its 5 to 4 ruling. I had, I confess, expected it to be 6 to 3. So, we are just one vote away from changing the balance of the Court -- and this in turn will affect the outcome of future abortion rulings. But the Nebraska case wasn't the only close call handed down by the Court yesterday. There was another close vote, in the Dale case, in which the Boy Scouts were resisting a New Jersey court ruling forcing them to accept homosexual scoutmasters. By 5 to 4 the Court sided with the Boy Scouts. As the election rhetoric keeps up this fall, remember we're just one vote away from restoring sanity to the courts. And the next president will appoint as many as four new members. So listen carefully to what the candidates say and don't be discouraged. This is just one round that we have lost yesterday. The battle will continue.  


Chuck Colson


  • Facebook Icon in Gold
  • Twitter Icon in Gold
  • LinkedIn Icon in Gold

Sign up for the Daily Commentary