Dred Scott and Roe

An intriguing comparison between the 1857 Dred Scott decision, and the 1973 Roe v. Wade. In both, the ‘personhood’ of certain segments of the population was denied, the first to black slaves, the second, to the unborn. The first led to civil war, the second…Well, we will see what the Supreme Court decides.

Already threats are made, as pro-abortion groups threaten churches, pro-life centres and the homes of the justices themselves. They have already stormed into Masses, and defaced cathedrals, threating more of the same this Sunday. Intimidation and coercion is their modus operandi, for they have not reason on their side.

As the author of the article concludes, we do not agree on ‘basic principles’, which is putting it mildly. And without shared common principles – say, the right to life, and that we all have dignity as persons created in God’s image – things inevitably unravel and fall apart. How long can you dialogue about murder?

Might we hope for some common resolution? Not likely…at least with natural hope, but there is supernatural hope, hoping even against hope, and the grace of God can perform miracles. But often, there is a hard road to traverse to get there. As Pope John Paul put it in Salvifici Doloris, it is suffering that most effectively opens our hearts and souls to that grace.

It took a civil war to eradicate the evil of slavery from America.

What might it take to do the same for abortion? As Mark Twain once quipped, history never exactly repeats itself, but it often rhymes.