George A. Sprecace M.D., J.D., F.A.C.P. and Allergy Associates of New London, P.C.

Point and Counterpoint: Abortion and Alternatives - Article 39, for Sunday, September 21, 2008

When Human Life Begins: Science, not politics or religion

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is a very gifted and accomplished woman with many qualities to be admired.  Her statement (on Meet the Press, August 24, 2008) that, after studying the issue for a long time, she did not know when life begins was absurd and insulting.  This, from the person second in line to the Presidency!  But perhaps we should not be surprised.  After all, Senator Obama, the Democratic candidate for the Presidency, also doesn’t know when life begins!  Both of these legislators have voted on bills regarding abortion and stem cell research when they should have recused themselves as incompetent because they could not vote intelligently on such bills… insofar as they did not know when life begins. 

Plaudits to the bishops who promptly set the record straight on when life begins and on the position of the Catholic Church on the issue of abortion through the Ages.  Cardinal Egan (Archbishop of New York) indicated such individuals “should not be providing leadership in a civil democracy worthy of the name”.  Archbishop Chaput and Auxiliary Bishop Conley in an online letter to the Archdiocese of Denver pointed out the errors in Speaker Pelosi’s remarks.  Archbishop Wuerl (Washington, D.C.) released a statement refuting Pelosi’s remarks; and I’m sure he would have been happy to give her proper guidance during the “long time” that she was studying this issue.  It is our understanding that Archbishop Niederauer (San Francisco) has asked to meet with her to provide the facts.  Cardinal Regali (Philadelphia) and Bishop Lori (Bridgeport), Chairmen of the U.S. Bishops’s Committees on Pro-Life Acivity and on Doctrine respectively, also issued statements correcting the Speaker’s remarks.  It is unfortunate that all U.S. bishops did not send letters to their dioceses simply pointing out the doctrinal and scientific errors in Pelosi’s remarks so that their laity would be properly informed.

The matter of when life begins is scientific fact, not Catholic doctrine.  It is held by pro-life people throughout the world regardless of religious affiliation or lack thereof.  Our society holds that every human being has an inalienable right to life.  Our laws against murder do not violate separation of Church and State and are not religious issues.  Laws against abortion would simply be the prohibition against killing innocent human beings, not a religious issue or a violation of separation of Church and State.

What is it that they don’t get?

Peter Moore, PhD                                 George A. Sprecace, M.D., J.D.

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