ST. LOUIS – In March 1856, a black slave named Dred Scott was judged by the US Supreme Court to be less than a person. Today his great, great granddaughter, Lynne Jackson, is pointing to the case as a beacon of hope that full human rights will be extended to all citizens, regardless of their age, size or degree of dependency.
The March 6, 1857 Dred Scott decision ruled that any person descended from black Africans, whether slave or free, is not a citizen of the United States, according to the U.S. Constitution. Blacks, the ruling said, were “beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations, and so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.” The decision was overturned by the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery less than ten years later in 1865.
Speaking on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Dred Scott decision, Jackson told The Pathway, the journal of the Missouri Baptist Convention, that she had herself witnessed an abortion.
Jackson, who is a civil rights activist, described an abortion she had seen, saying, “You see this beautiful form of a darling baby just floating around… Eventually, you really can’t see the arms and legs anymore, of course, because it’s being pulled apart in that particular procedure. So now you’re just looking at stuff floating, where a minute ago you were looking at a baby.”
“And it is a baby, and life does begin at conception,” Jackson added.
Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, told the Baptist Press that pro-life advocates should take heart and keep in mind that although in 1856, “the pro-slavery forces in America were impregnable…pro-freedom forces were utterly triumphant less than a decade later.”