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Opinion

When Is A Mother A Mother, Not A Mere Incubator? Here’s When, RBG

In her dissent regarding Box v. Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, Inc., Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg took issue with fellow Justice Clarence Thomas, who referred to women electing to abort fetuses as “mothers.”

It raises a provocative question: when does a pregnant woman become a mother?

Abortion stirs the philosophy pot more than perhaps any other issue, giving life to debates over when a fetus becomes an individual worthy of protection by law, when the child becomes viable outside the womb, and in the case mentioned above, how the remains of aborted children should be handled. The questions swirling around abortion, after all, tend to focus on the child, not the mother…er, the “adult with the baby inside of her.”

Thomas, in his opinion, sent several shots across the pro-choice bow. Chiefly, he stated the necessity of laws which “[prevent] abortion from becoming a tool of modern-day eugenics,” and proceeded to remind the court that Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood who infamously spoke of eliminating “human weeds,” is central to the debate. “Having created the constitutional right to an abortion, this court is duty-bound to address its scope,” Thomas wrote, and further, that such review must happen “soon.”

Ginsburg, whose every utterance is lionized by her fans, and whose every sneeze is cause for their collective panic, did not cite any legal precedent for her definition of a mother.

A mother may best be defined by her actions–when does she begin to tend to her child? Surely that moment, and the actions inherent in such care, defines the beginning of motherhood: when she learns she is pregnant and makes decisions as a result. If a smoker, a prudent woman would cease to smoke. If a drinker, a good woman would limit consumption or abstain for the health of her child in utero. Ideally, a number of steps, from prenatal vitamins to avoiding certain physical strains, would be incorporated into her lifestyle. Of course, this presumes that the woman in question wishes to give birth to her child.

A mother making a choice. Image by Gideon.

Consider two hypothetical women: one who plans to abort her child, and another who isn’t sure whether she will keep her child. Both make lifestyle choices–mothering decisions–upon learning of their pregnancy. In the first case, perhaps the mother continues to engage in actions unhealthy to the life growing inside her, after all, she plans to kill it anyway, so why bother? In the second case, perhaps the woman makes some or all of the same adjustments as a mother who plans to give birth. Regardless, both women have made a decision.

That act–the conscious decision about how to care for the unborn child–constitutes the beginning of motherhood.

Ginsburg and the moral relativists can debate when a fetus becomes a child, how old the fetus has to be before it’s a crime, and whether killing that unborn child is “birth control” or “murder,” but they can’t get snitty about the definition of “mother.” One becomes a mother the moment one acts for or against the best interests of the child. The mother who ignores the health of her child is still a mother, she’s just a bad one.

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6 comments

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william chandler May 30, 2019 at 11:06 am

The people behind the progressive feminist movement have all-but destroyed the normal family unit (Rothchild, Rockefeller and his elite pals wanted to put women to work so they could tax both adults in the household, but on top of that, working women are less likely to reproduce than stay-at-home-moms
If an ILLEGAL puts one foot into America THEY get full Constitutional Rights and will be defended by ACLU & SPLC.
If an ILLEGAL’s BABY gets BORN/one foot into America THEY get full Constitutional Rights and will be defended by ACLU & SPLC.
If a Duly Born American Child puts one foot in America they DO NOT have Constitutional Rights!? They can be MURDERED without legal representation ? Where are all the LeftWing lawyers dashing to represent the Babies and demand their RIGHTS? Where are the ACLU & SPLC?
MY body, MY choice, MY rights. Freedom of CHOICE. Right to CHOOSE.
Abortion up to and including live birth: My body! My right! “They” demand the right to decide what goes on with their body ……………………………. until YOU want the SAME THING over vaccines. Refuse vaccines with severe risks clearly printed on insert: Are you trying to get us all killed!?!?!?
Every Real Religious Leader that I read believed life began at conception. They have even NOW, recorded the “spark of life” an actual flash at the moment of fertilization.

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JoAnn Hendrickson May 30, 2019 at 12:51 pm

Interesting to refer to the mother’s body as an incubator. It is correct, the bloods never mix, the child has it own DNA. How can an unviable tissue that is a different sex from the host? Or another blood type?? It has been tortured reasoning since 1973. Shame on all who have murdered!

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Jerry Bessette May 30, 2019 at 1:04 pm

The problem in the abortion debate is that we have different perceptions of reality: is there a transcendent morality or does the individual determine what is moral?

For an atheist nothing is moral or immoral. But we humans have an intrinsic sense of morality so even the atheists need to justify themselves using the language of the theists. When I spent a few years as an atheist, I still knew right and wrong, but why should I care about an artifact of evolution. I knew a preborn baby was human, but so what?

Fortunately, I was open minded and realized the scientific and historical evidence pointed to the God of the Bible. And now many things that didn’t make sense now do.

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LisaT May 30, 2019 at 10:23 pm

I’m one of those “bad mothers.” I once miscarried at 6.5 weeks, and I was amazed at all of the people who insisted that this experience made me “the mother of a dead baby,” which I found weird and creepy. I would never question any woman who had a similar experience and viewed herself as a mother, but I was bemused that so many people wanted to stick that unwanted label on me.

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DeeAnn Simpson June 4, 2019 at 2:49 am

When a woman who is pregnant chooses to abort, that woman is not a mother. A mother would only choose life for her child. So, RBG is absolutely correct.

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DeeAnn Simpson June 4, 2019 at 2:52 am

Of course, you need to read her whole comment to understand that my interpretation of her comment is an honest interpretation, but, my interpretation is probably not what RBG intended to say.

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