U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor drew criticism from an accomplished physician for comments that appeared to draw a comparison between an unborn child and a corpse, suggesting that fetal movements recoiling from pain can be likened to reflexes in dead bodies.
The comments came as Sotomayor attempted to create question marks within the larger argument for the humanity of unborn babies during the oral arguments Dec. 1 in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a potentially landmark abortion case that could overturn Roe v. Wade.
“To compare an unborn child to a brain-dead person or a corpse flouts science which tells us that at 15 weeks gestation, a baby’s organs are fully formed, her heart pumps 26 quarts of blood a day, and her lungs are already practicing drawing breath,” said Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie, M.D., a radiology specialist with more than 20 years of experience.
Sotomayor’s comments came on the heels of Mississippi Solicitor General Scott G. Stewart’s argument that advances in medical science over the past 30 years have helped Americans grow in “knowledge and concern” about whether the unborn child is “fully human,” which are based in part on increased knowledge of the pain experienced by fetuses in the womb.
“Virtually every state defines a brain death as death. Yet, the literature is filled with episodes of people who are completely and utterly brain dead responding to stimuli,” Sotomayor said.
“There’s about 40% of dead people who, if you touch their feet, the foot will recoil. There are spontaneous acts by dead brain people. So I don’t think that a response to — by a fetus necessarily proves that there’s a sensation of pain or that there’s consciousness,” the justice said.
Christie, co-author of a science-based amicus brief presented to the Supreme Court in the Dobbs case, criticized the Supreme Court justice for her assertions, calling them “wholly ignorant of the tremendous scientific advances in fetal medicine.”
“As recently as last year, doctors in the Journal of Medical Ethics wrote, ‘Current neuroscientific evidence supports the possibility of fetal pain before the ‘consensus’ cutoff of 24 weeks’ and may be as early as 12 weeks,” Christie said.
“Not only does medicine agree that fetal anesthesia be administered for fetal surgery, a clear reflection of the medical consensus that unborn babies can feel pain, but like viability, the line marking when they feel pain continues to inch earlier,” Christie added.
Full story at Catholic News Agency.
In trying to give a scientific support for abortion, Justice Sotomayor has inadvertently revealed how unscientific that support is.
Not only is this, supposedly brilliant jurist, an idiot, I wonder if she is an example of “perfect possession”.
Hence my comment yesterday about sticking tubes into people [who are dead].
Bishops in the 90s and earlier tried to frame our abortion argument as a consistent ethic of life. A seamless garment, if you will. Such an ethic is completely apparent in and consistent with the teachings of the Church but was a new frame, a new handle that Catholics and non Catholics alike could agree upon. It offered a way to convince Americans that abortion is just as wrong as any other lack of care for life.
But conservative Catholics trashed it. They didn’t want to be told that an ethic of life meant living wages for parents, access to prenatal and postnatal care. Care for those on death row and others at the end of life. They couldn’t abide by calls for peace, and calls for just treatment of prisoners and those suspected of crime.
We missed a valuable chance. The seamless garment was soiled by those who called it heresy. Dissenters wanted to abolish abortion but keep the death penalty: a stance that loses all moral justification in a modern era and is inconsistent with Catholic teaching.
You (deliberately) misunderstand (misrepresent) the seamless garment ethic. It was not designed by Cardinal Bernardin to make the Church’s preaching and practice on life issues more consistent. It was designed to give political cover to Catholic pro-abortion politicians who voted in favor of abortion legislation. The seamless garment gave cover to such politicians in the form of: “Senator so-and-so did vote for abortion, but look at his other “pro-life” votes, including funding homeless shelters, opposing the death penalty, supporting pre-K education for all children, raising taxes on the rich to fund community outreach programs. Maybe the senator did vote for abortion, but his other votes on the other matters outweigh his support for abortion on the balance.”
Seamless garment is sophistry posing as moral enlightenment in an attempt to give political cover to Democrat Catholic politicians.
Well anonymous not only are you wrong on the facts, you prove my point. Thank you
YFC, as far as I can see, anonymous has hit the nail on the head. So if he is wrong on the facts, please specify which facts he has wrong. Cover for Catholic politicians regarding the abortion issue began in 1964. From the bridgehead.ca: ” At a meeting at the Kennedy compound in Hyannisport, Mass., on a hot summer day in 1964, the Kennedy family and its advisers and allies were coached by leading theologians on how to accept and promote abortion with a ‘clear conscience.’ The former Jesuit priest Albert Jonsen, emeritus professor of ethics at the University of Washington, recalls the meeting in his book The Birth of Bioethics. He writes about how he joined with the Rev. Joseph Fuchs, a Catholic moral theologian; the Rev. Robert Drinan, then dean of Boston College Law School; and three academic theologians, the Revs. Giles Milhaven, Richard McCormick and Charles Curran, to enable the Kennedy family to redefine support for abortion.” In C. Bernardin’s day, the consistent life ethic became the enabler and remains so to this day. Again, YFC, specify which facts anonymous has wrong, and thanks in advance.
Political cover is 100% correct, YFC. I will put it another way. Why is the Vatican warning the USCCB not to follow Canon Law, not to rightfully deny Holy Communion to sinful, pro-abortion “Catholics” like Biden and Pelosi? Where is the courage and dedication to Our Lord Jesus? You cannot possibly lump together a bunch of social justice issues, and pretend they are all “equal” in importance. To rip apart and destroy a delicate baby (up to birth) in the mother’s womb, and sell the poor child’s body parts to laboratories– is murder. Not the same as fighting injustices in housing, food, education, and jobs.
Very few criminals today, on Death Row, ever are put to death. When they are. they always have plenty of supporters, making sure that their deaths (usually by lethal injection) are as “humane” as possible. Not so with abortion, murdering innocent, helpless unborn children, who have never committed a horrible crime at all, resulting in the Death Penalty! All the way up to birth, a poor, helpless, innocent, unborn child, may be slashed to pieces and killed, and the baby’s body parts callously cut out and sold for profit! Nobody cares about whether a helpless, unborn baby is “aborted humanely!”
It was not designed by Cardinal Bernardin at all. Cardinal Bernardin was very critical of pro-choice Catholic politicians. The phrase was coined by someone in Pax Christi (Eileen Eagan) but it really comes from the Bible. It was not meant to give cover to politicians who vote for abortion. It was to remind everyone that every life matters; that human life matters.,, that it wrong to kill a person, born or unborn.
It has been ardently opposed by “pro-life” organizations.
Even recent Catholic history is being distorted now.
“It was not designed by Cardinal Bernardin at all.” cton and YFC, it was indeed C. Bernardin who championed the idea, and the effect of this was, as per the excellent reply of anonymous at 6:42, to give political cover to Catholic pro-abortion politicians who voted in favor of abortion legislation, and this regardless of C. Bernardin’s animus toward pro-abort Catholic politicians. And cton states : “it really comes from the Bible”?? Gen 9:6 would not fit the modern view of consistent life ethic. Paul in Acts 25 does not deny the right of the state to execute people. Instead of denouncing capital punishment, Paul assumes its validity and appeals to Caesar for justice in his case.
So you reject the Church’s teaching that human life is sacred because humans are made in the image of God?
As there is no reply button to cton’s non sequitur of 9:44, I shall respond to it here. cton, you claimed the modern version of the consistent life ethic comes from the Bible. My reply was simply that the claim was false. It is false because the assertion that capital punishment violates the sacredness of human life is not Biblical. I brought up Gen 9:6 and St. Paul’s words in Acts 25. I don’t think the apostle Paul rejected the idea of sacredness of human life but he would be surprised to learn of the new version of it in our day. That is all I was saying, and did not comment one way or another on the recent change in the idea. I hope that clarifies things. If not let me know.
Dan, Catholics don’t usually do the dueling Bible verses thing. It is great that you brought up the Bible passages you did but that does not, as you pointed out, reject the sacredness of human life. I am sure you know them so I will not insult you by quoting them.
You can research the Church’s history on capital punishment and other life issues. If you are unfamiliar with Pax Christi-they were controversial.
I do not know why anyone would have a problem with either the consistent life ethic or the seamless garment (they are not exactly the same thing) unless they disagreed with it or they felt like it took power and resources away from anti-abortion efforts.
I think you pivoted off the topic which was that inaccurate things are being said-not just here but elsewhere online.
If truth matters on one thing, it matters on all things.
“So you reject the Church’s teaching that human life is sacred because humans are made in the image of God? No we reject leftist filth in all of its satanic forms
CTON thank you for supplying us with that fact, I did not know that. Lots of absurd things being said about Bernadin lately, including the baseless claims that he was a satanist.
YFC, your comments on the “seamless garment” approach to moral theology are misleading. The theory was proposed by Cardinal Bernardin who was well-intentioned. The theory’s major flaw was that it lumped together certain social evils—which indeed required attention by faithful Catholics but which, importantly, allowed for a variety of different but equally moral solutions [taking into account such things as urgency, cost, methods of implementation, etc.]—with procured abortion [murder] which can never be a moral solution but is always forbidden irrespective of intention or circumstances.
I question whether most trained moral theologians [i.e, at the doctoral level] accept the “seamless garment” theory as authentic Church teaching. In fact, Fathers Curran and Fuchs, SJ, who adhered to it, were disciplined and Father McCormick, SJ writings were severely criticized by the CDF.
Is it really so hard to accept the Church’s teaching on abortion just as as authoritatively taught by the authentic Magisterium? Why the need to resort to a social-engineering design proposed by one Cardinal?
Both Cardinal Bernardin with his Consistent Ethic of Life and Pax Christi with the “Seamless Garment theory” accept as authoritative the teaching on abortion by the Catholic Church.
The teaching of the Catholic Church is that every Catholic is to be unconditionally pro-life. Do you reject this?
Once again, we have a non-sequitur, this time proposed by nht. One’s claim that Catholic pro-aborts used the seamless garment perspective as cover for abortion advocacy has no bearing whatsoever on one’s accepting or rejecting an unconditionally pro-life stance.
You ducked the question. Noted.
Fr. Charles Curran disputed the teachings of the Church on sexuality. He was disciplined for that.
I do not see anything that said Fr. Josef Fuchs was disciplined by the Vatican but he was the head of the Commission that found artificial birth control acceptable and that was rejected by Pope Paul VI in Humanae Vitae.
Fr. Richard McCormick S.J., while fiercely pro-life and anti-abortion was also against the Church’s teachings on birth control and IVF and some of its teachings on sexual morality.
There is nothing contrary to Church teaching, Scripture, Catechism, Magisterium in the “seamless garment” theory. It is exactly what Jesus said to do.
I could speculate on why it became controversial-and maybe pro-choice politicians were a part of it-but I think it also had to do with dilution of money and attention from anti-abortion causes.
Supreme Court justice (Sotomayor) compared unborn babies to ‘dead brain people’
takes one to know one, your honor
Good for you!
Such an inane comment from a supposed learned person — Princeton, Yale Law School. Sotomayor grew up Catholic, married a man in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York but fits the description of (c)atholic so clearly described by Dan above.
The physician made a fool of her…
“Princeton, Yale Law School.”. Does that prove the Justice has an unquestionably superior intellect? No. Why?
Ever hear of AFFIRMATIVE ACTION admissions and grading policies? **
** Same for Michele Obama. Princeton should have made her a football quarterback, with this huge masculine shoulders.
Another Catholic prominently promoting baby killing is scandalous. And, she’s another graduate of so-called Catholic elementary and high schools. Does she receive Holy Communion? Maybe at the same Jesuit-run parish as Mr. Biden. Justices and all judges are to be experts in law, not medicine or science, as is clearly evident. The Court should be hearing legal arguments, not political and social comments like hers. Maybe she’s proving how Roe has no legal basis upon which to stand.
How does she receive holy communion? I suppose she gets in line, walks up, bows, receives it in her hand from the minister, and then puts it in her mouth. Doesn’t everyone do it that way?
She Gets in Line– No, people do not just, “get in line” to receive this most wondrous Sacrament. You must be a good, devout, practicing Catholic, who accepts the teachings of the Church, and be in a state of grace, no serious sins, be prayerfully well-prepared, and have completed the Eucharistic fast, also. The Most Holy Eucharist– the very Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, is a most precious divine gift.
Not to worry about how Justice Sotomayor receives the Holy Eucharist. Chances are she doesn’t receive it at all. She herself admitted that she attends Mass very infrequently, limiting it to family celebrations and certain holidays. Why waste time speculating on how she receives when she most likely doesn’t?
One must never receive Our Blessed Lord in the Holy Eucharist, in a state of mortal sin, sacrilegiously, as Pelosi, Biden, Becerra, and possibly Sotomayor — and nany others– do.
She is not a practicing Catholic. She states that she goes to Mass for weddings and funerals. I do know if she receives the Eucharist. She should not.