Peliosi describes Catholic Church position on when life begins – attempt fails

During the Aug. 24 “Meet the Press” show on NBC, Tom Brokaw asked Nancy Pelosi – the Democrat leader of the U.S. House of Representatives from San Francisco – when life begins. Her answer was political of course, as she tried to cover all bases.

The discussion for conservatives is not necessarily if life begins at conception, but why Roe versus Wade is bad law. Don’t be afraid of the topic; you can be pro-life or pro-abortion and still believe that the Supreme Court got it wrong, and probably should have refused to hear the case.

During the interview on “Meet the Press,” Brokaw first asked Pelosi about the abysmal approval ratings for Congress, gas prices, drilling offshore and a bunch of other questions. From page 3 of the transcript, Brokaw continues. (Emphasis added)

MR. BROKAW:  Senator Obama saying the question of when life begins is above his pay grade, whether you’re looking at it scientifically or theologically. If he were to come to you and say, “Help me out here, Madame Speaker.  When does life begin?” what would you tell him?

REP. PELOSI:  I would say that as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time.  And what I know is, over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition.  And Senator–St. Augustine said at three months.  We don’t know. The point is, is that it shouldn’t have an impact on the woman’s right to choose.  Roe v. Wade talks about very clear definitions of when the child–first trimester, certain considerations; second trimester; not so third trimester.  There’s very clear distinctions.  This isn’t about abortion on demand, it’s about a careful, careful consideration of all factors and–to–that a woman has to make with her doctor and her god.  And so I don’t think anybody can tell you when life begins, human life begins.  As I say, the Catholic Church for centuries has been discussing this, and there are those who’ve decided…

MR. BROKAW:  The Catholic Church at the moment feels very strongly that it…

REP. PELOSI:  I understand that.

MR. BROKAW:  …begins at the point of conception.

REP. PELOSI:  I understand.  And this is like maybe 50 years or something like that.  So again, over the history of the church, this is an issue of controversy. But it is, it is also true that God has given us, each of us, a free will and a responsibility to answer for our actions.  And we want abortions to be safe, rare, and reduce the number of abortions.  That’s why we have this fight in Congress over contraception.  My Republican colleagues do not support contraception. If you want to reduce the number of abortions, and we all do, we must–it would behoove you to support family planning and, and contraception, you would think.  But that is not the case.  So we have to take–you know, we have to handle this as respectfully–this is sacred ground. We have to handle it very respectfully and not politicize it, as it has been–and I’m not saying Rick Warren did, because I don’t think he did, but others will try to.

Pelosi actually tried to define the position of the Catholic Church and got it wrong. The church is taking Pelosi to task quickly, and Malkin asks about other Catholics in similar situations.

From The Hill.com, which describes the letter Pelosi received from San Francisco Archbishop George H. Niederauer.

Niederauer quoted a section of the catechism of the Catholic Church to underline his point that when life begins is not controversial within the church. According to the catechism, he said, “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception.

“Since the first century, the church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable.”

And by the way, Republicans are fine with contraception, it’s just that the government handing out condoms is not what the government is in business to do.

That leads us to the question of Roe versus Wade and why I consider it to be bad law. The Constitution limits the powers of government – not the people – and there is no mention of abortion in the documents. Therefore the Tenth Amendment is applicable.

Amendment 10
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

So it’s my conservative position that the state legislature members are “at the pay grade” to handle this question. Yes, this does make it possible that abortion laws may be different from state to state but I’m comfortable with that. As an example some states have the death penalty, others do not; and still others do but really don’t.

Liberals do not like this solution since it puts the power to determine abortion “rights” in the hands of the people. They are more comfortable working with a limited number of judges on courts who fancy legislating from the bench.

As with propositions and ballot initiatives around the country that protect the definition of marriage by two to one, I’m comfortable that the people would protect life at the same ratio or more.

Pro-abortion liberals are not willing to take that chance.

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