In the Hebrew Scriptures, God grants King Solomon "a wise and discerning mind," so that he would have "discernment in dispensing justice." (1 Kings 3:16-28)
What follows from there is a complex story of two women, mothers of two similarly aged boy children, one of whom has died in the middle of the night. One of the women says her son is alive, and that the other has tricked her by placing the dead child in her arms. The other woman says, "No, the live one is my son, and the dead one is yours." They argue incessantly before the king.
Solomon steps forward and asks for a sword. To find the true mother, he exclaims, "Cut the live child in two, and give half to one and half to the other." The real mother, "overcome with compassion for her son," reveals herself by saying, "Give her the child; only don't kill it." The other, revealing her deception, says, "Cut it in two."
I fear that those of us who support health care reform and reproductive justice for women are being put in the position of the real mother. We know that millions of Americans will benefit from health care reform, but we are being asked by some to sacrifice our own rights in order for a reform bill to pass. Surely that is the position many House Democrats found themselves in last week......
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