As painful as it might be, it would be decorous to pay respects to the deceased victims of the late Justice Ginsburg—those whose lives were snuffed out in the womb due to her tireless defence of abortion.
For the past two days, mourners have lined up outside the Supreme Court building in Washington DC to pay their respects to the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, passing by her flag-draped casket. On September 25, Ginsburg will become the first woman to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol when her casket is placed in National Statuary Hall. Although the civil-rights pioneer Rosa Parks was afforded a similar ceremony in the Capitol in 2005, she officially lay “in honor,” not “in state,” because she did not hold a government or military office.
With all due decorum, Ginsburg’s casket was placed on the same pine board platform draped in black cloth, the “Lincoln catafalque,” on which the casket of President Abraham Lincoln was placed when he lay in state after his assassination in 1865. Ginsburg’s chair in the courtroom was draped with black wool crepe as a token of respect, following a tradition that dates back to 1873 and perhaps earlier. A black drape was also hung over the courtroom doors. Such is the way that the secular state canonizes its heroes and heroines.
When all the pomp and circumstance is over, the late Justice Ginsburg will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery. After she is laid to rest, it is not for any of us to judge whether her soul will be at rest, or whether she will “rest in peace”. This most indomitable and articulate of women will have made her most crucial decision in articulo mortis, at the point of death, mindful in her final moments, one might hope, of the Four Last Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell. Whether the late Supreme Court Justice received mercy from the Supreme Judge will surely have depended on whether she repented of her sins, not least of which was her being an accessory in the killing of countless children.
As painful as it might be, it would be decorous to pay respects to the deceased victims of the late Justice Ginsburg—those whose lives were taken in the womb due to her tireless defence of abortion. Let’s examine, for instance, her dissenting judgment in Gonzales v. Carhart (2007) on the issue of partial-birth abortion. In that case the Supreme Court ruled by a majority that the Federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act does not violate the constitutional right to abortion. Ginsburg dissented, arguing that the majority decision was alarming.
Let’s look at the evidence that Justice Ginsburg heard during that particular case.
The court recited an abortion doctor’s clinical description of the partial-birth abortion procedure. Then it went on to quote a nurse who happened to witness the procedure: “The baby’s little fingers were clasping and unclasping and his little feet were kicking. Then the doctor stuck the scissors in the back of his head, and the baby’s arms jerked out, like a startled reaction, like a flinch, like a baby does when he thinks he’s going to fall. The doctor opened the scissors, stuck a high-powered suction tube into the opening and sucked the baby’s brains out. Now the baby went completely limp.”
One wonders whether Justice Ginsburg flinched, just a little, when she heard the description of the baby flinching as the abortionist stabbed him in the head. Might it have been possible to detect even the slightest hint of a startled reaction on her features as the savagery of the procedure was described to her in its full horrific goriness? One would like to think so, even though she was still ready to advocate that such barbarism should continue, protected by the law.
And yet, since she knew what partial-birth abortion entailed, her support for it is sickening, almost beyond comprehension. It beggars belief that anyone can advocate for such horrific treatment of innocent human persons. Under this procedure, the cervix of the woman is dilated and the whole of the child is extracted except for the head. This means that the child is not yet in law born, because not fully extracted from the mother’s womb, and that the deliberate killing of the child, which then takes place, is not murder in law. This is what Justice Ginsburg was willing to advocate. In her judgment defending this butchery, she employed the phrases “tearing a fetus apart” and “ripping off its limbs”, in a dispassionate way, as coldly as Josef Mengele, the Butcher of Auschwitz, might have spoken of his victims. Nor is the comparison with the Nazis inappropriate. When any society becomes desensitized to the extermination of those deemed to be untermenschen, it ipso facto becomes an inhuman society. Unborn children are every bit as human as those whom the Nazis exterminated in Auschwitz and every bit as innocent.
It is true, no doubt, that none of us should seek to pass judgment on what awaits Ruth Bader Ginsburg when she meets her Maker. We are, however, meant to pass judgment on what she did in her life. Actions have consequences in this life, irrespective of what consequences they might have in the next. Millions of innocent children have been exterminated due to those who have made infanticide legal and by those who have fought to keep it legal. Since this is so, it takes a great act of Christian charity to hope that God might show Ruth Bader Ginsburg the mercy that she failed to show to others, and especially to those others who are the most innocent and vulnerable members of our society.
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The featured image a photograph showing a profile portrait of Ruth Bader Ginsburg at Senate confirmation hearing for her appointment to the Supreme Court, 20 July 1993. This work is from the Roll Call portion of CQ Roll Call collection at the Library of Congress. According to the library, there are no known copyright restrictions on the use of this work. It appears here courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.