By Sharon L. Carte
Jun 27, 2022

I am grateful to Kathleen Jacobs (click here to see her story) for her honest, heartfelt and heartening op-ed in a recent edition of the Gazette-Mail expressing her feelings and beliefs on the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade.

Though she is pro-life, Jacobs has room to still be compassionate about a woman’s right to choose. It reminds me of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s quote, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.” Truly, because she speaks from the heart, not simply ideas held in the mind, the greater question is raised: What do we do in a society when we hold two, equally important but opposing values? Values, unlike ideas, are not simply matters of reason

In my honest belief, I would say I value all life as sacred. I also equally believe a woman must have the right to control the most fundamental decisions related to her body, mental and physical health, and whether and when she brings a child in to the world. For myself, I believe the latter must prevail over the former (for reasons of head and heart that I will not to go into here; we will hear them argued ad infinitum for the foreseeable future anyway).

It is just such an enormous and fundamental clash of values that makes this debate so vociferous and ultimately beyond reason alone. This is why I honor Kathleen Jacobs for speaking so honestly and bravely, as many must feel the tug in different directions. And I thank her for her mutual respect and love for her sisters.

Where I would typically look for compromise, some sense of satisfactory resolution, even some wisdom to be exercised by our judicial system, I see little. Sad to say, since now a much greater matter is at stake here: How do we order ourselves in a civil and respectful way of one another, so as to provide the greatest potential for all who must live and function together in our society? 

In this clash of values, there is only one side which seeks to prevail by totally imposing its values on the other. Well-reasoned and argued or not, this decision by the Supreme Court is a monumental failure  alienating so many, so that many can only conclude this is a radical court of questionable legitimacy (which many already believed in no small part thanks to Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.).

There should have been a wiser, more middle ground on which to stand than this cruel decision. Also, for those sorry folks on the left or middle who could not bring themselves to vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016, as ye so sow, so shall ye reap.

As the aforementioned Fitzgerald quote continues, ”One should be able to see that things are hopeless and still be determined to make them otherwise”.

And so we shall.

Sharon L. Carte resides in South Charleston