Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor compared unborn babies to braindead people during Wednesday’s oral arguments in the landmark abortion case currently before the court.
In an effort to address the question of fetal pain — whether the ability to feel and respond to pain is proof that the fetus is alive and at what point an unborn child in the womb is capable of feeling and responding to pain — Sotomayor argued that a physical reaction to certain stimuli is also common in patients who have been declared braindead.
“Justice Sotomayor acting the role of Philosopher-King over the sensation of fetal pain is moral avoidance. The question is not, ultimately, over pain, but whether the Constitution grants the right to terminate innocent life. The answer is, of course, no,” ethics and theology professor Andrew T. Walker responded.
Senator Lindsey Graham also offered his objection, tweeting, “With all due respect to Justice Sotomayor, it is not a minority of doctors who believe an unborn child can feel pain before 24 weeks. It is well-established medical practice to provide anesthesia to the unborn child regarding medical procedures performed before 24 weeks because the nerve endings, which generate pain, are well-developed.”
“Why administer anesthesia to unborn children before 24 weeks if pain is not involved? I have asked medical professionals: ‘Would you perform medical procedures to save or improve the life of an unborn child in the 20 week period without administering anesthesia?'” Graham continued, adding, “It is virtually unanimous that anesthesia is appropriate. Justice Sotomayor is misinformed (and that is dangerous) about how medical procedures are performed on unborn children.”
Sotomayor also addressed the major concern of many on the left — whether or not the court might move to overturn either or both of the two previous landmark abortion cases: Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
“Will this institution survive the stench that this creates in the public perception that the Constitution and its reading are just political acts?” she asked.
Sotomayor says the sponsors of Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban said “we’re doing it because we have new justices.”
She asks: “Will this institution survive the stench that this creates in the public perception that the Constitution and its reading are just political acts?” pic.twitter.com/T2MmA56ddf
— Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) December 1, 2021
As The Daily Wire reported:
The Supreme Court has been hearing arguments that could dramatically change the landscape of abortion in the country.
The case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, concerns a 2018 law in Mississippi that bans most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. As the law stands now, Roe v. Wade and the decisions that came after it hold that states have to allow a woman to be able to get an abortion up to the point of viability, or when the baby can survive on its own outside the womb. Most states hold this mark at around 20 to 24 weeks, so the Mississippi law is a direct violation.
Mississippi said in its original petition that the questions presented to the Court do not require them to overturn Roe or Planned Parenthood v. Casey. In its brief in July, however, the state wrote, “Roe and Casey are egregiously wrong” and said the court should overrule those decisions.
The court is expected to issue a ruling on the case next summer.