“splitting the baby” is a classic legal term often employed by judges and lawyers to settle cases or disputes. the term, however, is a bastardization of the famous king solomon story in which the baby was never split. rather, king solomon, with his great wisdom, used that technique to make judgment in a troubling child custody case. king solomon’s story may offers insight into the united states’ abortion rights debate. currently, the country is pending a decision from the us supreme court which may allow states to legislate on the matter in a variety of directions.
solomon’s story is one of two women. both women gave birth. one woman’s child passed. a dispute was raised as to who was the mother of the surviving child. this matter was brought before king solomon. the story then goes as follows:
” and the king said, “fetch me a sword.” and they brought a sword before the king. and the king said, “divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other. and the woman whose son (was) the live one, said to the king, for her compassion was aroused for her son, and she said, “o my lord, give her the living child, and by no means slay him.” but the other said, “let it be neither mine nor yours, divide (it).” and the king answered and said, “give her the living child, and by no means slay him: she (is) his mother.” and all israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged; and they feared the king; for they saw that the wisdom of god (was) in him to do judgment.” kings 3:24-28
what is remarkable is that with the advances in science, king solmon, if he were alive today, would have simply ordered dna testing of the women and the child. science would have rendered the evidence to to render an accurate judgment. as such, the emotionality of the parties would be a non-issue.
much time has passed since the major abortion case of roe vs. wade. it was determined in 1973, and 49 years have passed. since 1973, technological advances have been made in the fields of birth control, pregnancy testing, medicinal forms of abortion, medical imaging, neonatal care, and fetus viability. likewise, more knowledge is known concerning the nature of fetuses.
have these new advances in science changed the legal issues of abortion? as with solomon’s case, does humanity now have a better and less dramatic way to find the better evidence to make a proper decision? if the abortion rights issue is returned to the states, will these states look at scientific advances in making their legislation? (noted: today, the supreme court ruled in dobbs vs. jackson that “the constitution does not confer a right to abortion; roe and casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives.” with this, each state and its population can address the issue on an individual basis versus a federal government dictate.)
in sum, today, king solomon’s tale’s values are being played out in quite a different fashion. in solomon’s case, it was the impersonator mother who was willing to kill a child for her own personal satisfaction and happiness; in the present day, it is the pregnant mother seeking personal satisfaction and happiness by literally “splitting the baby.”
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