Kentucky judge rejects life by conception as a ‘Christian and Catholic belief’ | National Catholic Register
A Kentucky circuit judge has again blocked two state abortion bans from going into effect — in part, he said, because they embrace “a distinctly Christian and Catholic creed” on the beginning of life.
“The laws at issue here adopt the view held by some, but not all, religious traditions that life begins at conception,” Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Mitch Perry wrote in an opinion released Friday.
“The General Assembly is not authorized to single out and endorse the doctrine of a privileged faith for preferential treatment. By taking this approach, the prohibitions fail to accommodate the diverse religious views of many Kentuckians whose faith brings them to take very different views on the beginning of life,” he said.
“There is nothing in our laws or our history that allows for such theocracy-based policymaking,” he added.
At issue are two laws passed by the Kentucky General Assembly in 2019. One is a six-week abortion ban and the other is a “trigger” law that would ban virtually all abortions in the state just in case. U.S. Supreme Court would overturn Roe v. Wade. . This happened on June 24, paving the way for states to regulate abortion as they see fit.
Neither Kentucky law makes exceptions for rape or incest, Perry noted.
The plaintiffs in the case — two abortion businesses and an abortionist who owns one of the facilities — argue that the state laws are unconstitutional. They asked Perry to issue a temporary restraining order to prevent them from being enforced until the matter is fully resolved by the court.
Perry issued a reprieve on June 29 and another on Friday.
Perry argued that in making the laws, the General Assembly “essentially” established the “independent fetal personality” of the unborn child, noting in a footnote that the legislature uses the term “beings unborn humans”.
Science and Reason
Perry wrote in his opinion that there is a “substantial likelihood” that abortion bans violate the rights to privacy, equal protection and religious liberty guaranteed in the Kentucky State Constitution.
With respect to religious liberty, Perry wrote, “The trigger ban and the six-week ban implicate the establishment and free exercise clauses by impermissibly establishing a distinctly Christian doctrine of early life and by unduly interfering with the free exercise of other religions that are not. share this same belief.
Life advocates have noted, however, that Perry’s argument is at odds with the position of the Catholic Church and other pro-life groups that it is a scientific fact that human life begins at design.
In 2019, the March for Life – which describes itself as the largest annual human rights demonstration in the world – chose as its theme “Unique from Day One: Pro-Life is Pro-Science”.
“Science is behind the pro-life movement,” said Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life.
“We see that medical and technological advances are still affirming the pro-life movement, for example, DNA is present during fertilization and no fingerprint on earth, past, present or future, is the same,” said said Mancini. “We also know that a baby’s heart beats at just six weeks and we can observe it distinctly ourselves using ultrasound technology.”
Many pro-life organizations are not religious but call for the protection of human life from its very beginnings. These groups include Rehumanize International, Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising, and Secular Pro-Life.
In the medical world, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG), which consists of thousands of members and associates, says its medical practitioners “share the view that human life begins to fertilization and that the lives of pre-born children must be protected.
The Catholic Church itself teaches that science supports its teaching that human life begins at conception.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) asserts that “modern science has not changed the consistent teaching of the Church against abortion, but has emphasized how important and reasonable it is, confirming that the life of each individual of the human species begins with the first embryo.
The USCCB also devotes an entire page to quoting scientists and embryology experts on the beginning of life: at conception.
In his 1995 encyclical Evangelium VitaeSaint John Paul II recognized the science and cited the 1974 Declaration of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on induced abortion.
“But in fact, “as soon as the ovum is fertilized, a life begins which is neither that of the father nor that of the mother; it is rather the life of a new human being with its own growth. He would never be made human if he wasn’t already,” the late pope quoted.
“It has always been clear, and … modern genetic science offers a clear confirmation. It has shown that from the first moment the program of what this living being will be established is established: a person, this individual person with his already well-determined characteristic aspects”, he continued. “As soon as fertilization begins the adventure of a human life, and each of its capacities requires time – quite a long time – to find its place and to be able to act.”
Saint John Paul II went on to quote the 1987 Instruction of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on respect for human life at its origin and on the dignity of procreation Donum Vitae.
“Even if the presence of a spiritual soul cannot be confirmed by empirical data”, he added, “the results themselves of scientific research on the human embryo provide ‘a valuable indication for discerning by the use of reason a personal presence at the moment of the first appearance of a human life: how could a human individual not be a human person?
More recently, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, responded to criticism that opposition to abortion is solely a religious issue. Kansans will vote Aug. 2 on whether state lawmakers should have the power to regulate or restrict abortion.
“From a Catholic point of view, abortion is not primarily a religious issue but a fundamental human rights issue,” Bishop Naumann wrote in the wichita eagle. “Our faith helps us understand the dignity of every human life created in the divine image as taught in the Hebrew scriptures, but reason alone is enough to know that it is wrong to destroy an innocent human life.”
Moreover, Bishop Naumann stressed, “The mere fact that a law coincides with religious beliefs does not mean that it is an inadmissible imposition of religion.”