WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — Jury selection for the FACE trial in Washington, D.C., has passed into the fourth day, with opening statements expected by Tuesday or early Wednesday morning. With this in mind, here are some reflections from an observer in the courtroom.
Some believe that the conviction that abortion is wrong or that life is sacred because God is its author prevents a person from judging impartially in a court case related to abortion. But is this really so? Is it the case that ideas about the justice or injustice of something that was, for most of the history of this country, held to be not only unjust but criminal now prevent a citizen of the United States from considering, in a reasonable manner, a legal charge related to abortion?
If so, it would seem that reasoned-out principles about justice and morality keep a person from rightly judging in a matter of legal and moral justice. This would then mean that any principle of ethics that bears upon a specific legal matter disqualifies that person from rightly judging that matter. In other words, the only condition presumed to qualify a person to judge in a matter of criminal justice related to abortion would seem to be ignorance of the principles of ethics that bear upon the question.
Knowing the principles of justice, virtue, law and, indeed, even biology – such as, that human life begins at conception – cannot possibly of itself make a person unable to judge justly regarding matters of law and morality, such as whether an unborn child must be protected when its life is threatened. In fact, only one informed by such principles is qualified to judge such matters.
Christ enjoins His disciples, “Be clever as serpents and innocent as doves.” If pro-life Christians are asked whether they can be impartial in cases related to abortion, they should affirm that they indeed can.
The judge in the present case of those charged with violations of the FACE act has affirmed to every potential juror that “the case is not about abortion” but “access to healthcare” inclusive of abortion.
However, the justice of the defendants’ actions depends immediately upon the justice or injustice of abortion. Whether the baby in the womb is alive and therefore a human person deserving of protection, both physical and legal, makes all the difference in whether the actions of the defendants were just. Moral judgments about abortion are therefore immediately material to the case at hand.
The judge has kept in the pool of potential jurors persons who openly donate to Planned Parenthood, participate in the pro-abortion Women’s March in D.C., and who “feel strongly” that abortion is a right and that women should have universal access to it under the guise of “healthcare.” Here are just a few statements made in court on the third day of jury selection.
“I feel strongly that women should have access to healthcare,” one person shortlisted as a potential juror said.
“I feel very strongly that abortion is a right,” we heard from another.
And yet another: “I have strong views on abortion… Everyone should have access to healthcare.”
Another potential juror who was kept had taken part in several protests against the Dobbs decision and another had taken part in the D.C. Women’s March, with family members attending annually.
It was almost certain that if a person expressed support for abortion and then simply said, “Oh, but this will not affect my ability to judge impartially” – in a case regarding access to abortion – they would be kept in the pool of potential jurors, whereas those few who expressed opposition to abortion on moral grounds were not kept because they could not set aside their deeply held beliefs that abortion was the wrongful murder of a baby in the womb.
Commenting on the federal government’s trampling on the rights of the unborn, pro-life activist Will Goodman – one of the defendants in the case – told LifeSiteNews:
It is heartbreaking to witness how the federal government has no love or concern for the Lord’s precious preborn babies and their inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Let us hope and pray that even in the abortionist’s antechamber that our country’s capital has become, there will be some courageous men and women among those called up for jury selection for this trial who will have the innocence to say they oppose abortion and the cleverness to affirm they can judge impartially. The fact of the matter is that only such people are qualified to do so.