By Dr. Jim Ferguson

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas


When you lose that trust it changes the institution fundamentally. It’s like an infidelity that you can explain it, but you can’t undo it.

Clarence Thomas


I seriously doubt that the leftists screaming outside the homes of Supreme Court Justices were thinking of Dylan Thomas’ poem. But the metaphor of another corrupted and dying American institution was apparent to me. The damaging leak of a confidential SCOTUS decision regarding abortion has, in Justice Thomas’ opinion, forever changed the court. As I watched leftists rant and vow to become “ungovernable,” I wondered if anyone was surprised by such bullying tactics. Democrat socialists damage everything they touch, and children throw tantrums if they don’t get their way.

I am no legal expert, but many lawyers consider the landmark Roe vs. Wade decision of 1973 an overreach and poor legal precedent. Reportedly, the “preliminarily” SCOTUS ruling is expected to return the decisions regarding abortion to the states of the union and end the current national mandate. I read that Connecticut may promote itself as an abortion destination, but that may just be rumor and hyperbole. Tennessee will not be an abortion destination.

Abortion is a tough issue for everyone. And just because I am a man does not disqualify my opinion as some feminists have opined. I am a citizen, a doctor, a father and a Christian, a partial list of qualifications. And despite the risk, I believe discussing the issue is appropriate, so I won’t be shouted down by the mob. Actually, you may be shocked to learn that I agree with Hillary Clinton who once said, “Abortion should be legal, safe and rare.” It is a tragedy that abortions are not rare.

Whether you are Pro-Life or Pro-Choice, times have changed. And our laws should reflect how we wish to live and govern ourselves. I believe in a Federalist system of government as outlined in the Constitution. Elected officials make laws. Judges interpret laws to make sure laws are Constitutional. And the executive branch (President) carries out the laws. We have strayed far from the Constitution and are suffering as a result.

I personally think it is illogical for nine black robed “supreme” judges to make absolute rules for three hundred and fifty million Americans. I think it would be better to have elected representatives in the various states decide abortion regulations/laws with oversight of the judicial system. No system is perfect including SCOTUS. Recall that in 1857 SCOTUS deemed Dred Scott a slave and property rather than a man “endowed by [the] creator with unalienable rights [of] life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” That decision was errant and was corrected by We The People with the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.

Birth control methods are better now and more available than in the 1970s. In fact, Planned Parenthood lists many means of birth control including tubal ligation, vasectomy, hormone patches, implants, shots and vaginal rings, birth control pills, spermicides, IUDs, condoms, and even the morning after pill combo. It is interesting they even list withdrawal and avoiding coitus during the most fertile times of a woman’s cycle. Their website does not list abstinence, although it is virtually 100% effective.

I realize this is a controversial topic and that I may be accused of being insensitive to women who find themselves with an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy. Perhaps our family was fortunate to have escaped such a difficult choice. I am sympathetic to the pro-choice argument and cannnot say how we would have reacted. But I’m also sympathetic to the pro-life argument because, as a science guy, I cannot tell when life with unalienable rights begins. Test tube “babies,” in vitro fertilization and technology have extended the horizons of life.

I have had discussions about when life begins with doctors, friends, ministers, ethicists and philosophers. Everyone has different viewpoints. One religious perspective holds that a preborn is not a human being until the baby passes through the birth canal and is delivered. The former governor of Virginia held that a baby surviving an abortion can be dispatched if the mother says so. My former professor of medicine held that a “clump of cells” (morula) is not alive even though life will result from those cells if allowed. Quickening is a term that describes when a mother can feel her child move in the womb. This occurs at 16-20 weeks of pregnancy during the second trimester. Elizabeth felt John leap in her womb when she saw Mary pregnant with Jesus (Luke 1:41).

I know that a sperm or an egg has only half the genetic material necessary to build life. Today, few would argue this point. However, a fertilized egg has the full complement of DNA to produce a human being created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). And embryos can be frozen and later implanted in a uterus and produce a baby. I can tell you the post-fertilization boundary of life is currently impossible to define. Even the notion of viability (capability of life outside the uterus) is steadily increasing with modern technology.

So where do I stand at this moment in time? Until doctors, biologists, ethicists, philosophers and theologians can present an understandable consensus statement about when life begins, I have to side with life, even the proto-life of a clump of cells because these have everything necessary for human life.

I don’t have all the answers nor does SCOTUS. Life is complicated and perhaps it is best to have a range of options regarding abortion instead of one size fits all. I will not presume to tell a woman what to do, except to offer the advice to consider wisely the consequences of your choices. But no one gets a free pass on this issue. And I feel compelled to protect the helpless unborn by opposing unrestricted abortion, be it post term, late term or at some nebulous and arbitrary point of viability or development.

Maybe the states will do a better job with this troubling issue. The national policy is a mess, causing some to refer to the 63 million abortions since 1973 as “The American Holocaust.”

Food for thought.