According to Missouri law, before a pregnant woman can have an abortion, she must wait 72 hours after making the appointment before having the procedure. During that period she is required to view an ultrasound of her baby, offered the opportunity to hear the child’s heartbeat, and compelled to read a pamphlet that claims life begins at conception.
Which is true, according to science. Even the fertilized egg contains living cells. An abortion terminates human life, a living organism — whether you merely want to call it a fetus or prefer to describe that living organism as an unborn child in the womb doesn’t change what it really is — a human being.
A plaintiff identified using the pseudonym Mary Doe in court documents has successfully appealed her claim that her freedom of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights had been violated by the so-called “72 hour” rule to the Missouri Supreme Court.
The U.S. Supreme Court may eventually need to settle this case, which has a number of interesting aspects to take into consideration. An alleged member of the Satanic Temple, Ms. Doe contended that her “religion” teaches that human life doesn’t begin at conception, and argued that she shouldn’t be compelled to read a pamphlet containing information that conflicts with her religious beliefs.
According to the Kansas City Star, Ms. Doe complained that she felt “guilt and shame” after the ultrasound and reviewing the educational materials, which clearly explained the abortion procedure would terminate “the life of a separate, unique, living human being.”
Questions: if she sincerely believed the teachings of her so-called religion, what difference would an ultrasound, or reading a pamphlet make? Why would the plaintiff admit to feeling guilt or shame about doing something that she honestly believed was the right thing to do?
Another problem for the argument of Ms. Doe is the fact that many subject matter experts agree that life begins when the egg is fertilized.
In her article originally published in the International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Dr. Dianne N. Irving of Princeton University wrote:
Abortion is the destruction of a human being.
Can’t really get any clearer than that.
In her article, Dr. Irving defined a zygote (cell formed from the union of egg and sperm) as a single-celled human being. She also astutely pointed out that the issue of when human life begins is a scientific question that falls strictly under the purview of human embryologists, not “philosophers, bioethicists, theologians, politicians, x-ray technicians, movie stars, or obstetricians and gynecologists.”
In other words, we can argue about definitions as much as we’d like, but she’s the expert, so her opinion counts the most. Besides, there’s no point in arguing, because she’s absolutely right.
Furthermore, we know when science has taken a position that contradicts an individual’s personal religious beliefs, science typically wins the argument in court. Parents have been sent to jail for refusing to have their children properly vaccinated. Historically speaking, the courts have consistently put the perceived best interests of the child above respect for any religious beliefs of the parents.
Finally, there is the problem that the New York Times exposed the fact that the Satanic Temple isn’t really a religion. They don’t worship Satan; they don’t even believe Satan exists. The Satanic Temple is an organization created by a couple of people who don’t like organized religion, and like drawing media attention to their lawsuits — even the frivolous ones, like this case appears to be. After all, Ms. Doe was allowed to have her abortion performed in May 2015, after the three day waiting period elapsed, and the requirements of the law fulfilled.
The purpose for her lawsuit proceeding at this point seems rather obvious — Ms. Doe wants to impose her own immoral, anti-scientific and anti-religious beliefs on vulnerable young women and deprive them of information that might change their mind about aborting their baby.
Unless, of course, Ms. Doe anticipates needing another abortion in the future, and wants to be able to utilize an express service. No more 72 hour delays.
Either way, she should be ashamed and feel guilty for her evil intentions.