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    AmP Countdown: Time left to demand that Congress make health care reform pro-life: 2009-11-07 18:00:00 GMT-05:00

    Tuesday, August 26, 2008

    Response: Pelosi decides to fight it

    The text hasn't been published online, but has been leaked numerous places, and I present it here. This email was sent out this afternoon from Pelosi's spokesman, Brenda Daly:

    “The Speaker is the mother of five children and seven grandchildren and fully appreciates the sanctity of family. She was raised in a devout Catholic family who often disagreed with her pro-choice views.
    Nice but irrelevant. Having children doesn't mean you understand why the Church believes it is wrong to kill them, necessarily.

    “After she was elected to Congress, and the choice issue became more public as she would have to vote on it, she studied the matter more closely. Her views on when life begins were informed by the views of Saint Augustine, who said: ‘…the law does not provide that the act [abortion] pertains to homicide, for there cannot yet be said to be a live soul in a body that lacks sensation…’ (Saint Augustine, On Exodus 21.22)
    She didn't face the issue of choice until Congress? This cannot be true. She served in CA well after Roe v. Wade was issued. And her sole source of argument is this obscure passage in Augustine? I have actually studied this passage of Augustine. So let's clear it up quick:

    1. Augustine did not know from the evidence had available to him at the time whether or not all abortions killed a human being, but if they did, he held that clearly such an act would be murder.

    2. Modern science has demonstrated that yes, an embryo is a human being, from the moment of conception, and therefore killing it at any stage of development is an act of murder.

    Augustine subsequently discusses accidental abortions in which the old law (as in old testament!) still required the transgressor to undergo a severe punishment. Does Pelosi believe people who procure and conduct abortions should be treated similarly? If not, she isn't following Augustine.
    “While Catholic teaching is clear that life begins at conception, many Catholics do not ascribe to that view. The Speaker agrees with the Church that we should reduce the number of abortions. She believes that can be done by making family planning more available, as well as by increasing the number of comprehensive age-appropriate sex education and caring adoption programs.
    Her argument is not actually an argument at all. It's a statement of fact, and again, it is irrelevant to what she actually said in Meet the Press. She doesn't even admit she was wrong in everything she claimed. Oh - and her solution? Contraception, which is also not permitted by the Church. How much more dense can you get?

    “The Speaker has a long, proud record of working with the Catholic Church on many issues, including alleviating poverty and promoting social justice and peace.”
    Also irrelevant. She might have worked for decreased summer working hours among young people. Who cares? That's not what is under debate here.

    A couple global observations:

    • Pelosi does not even respond to the criticisms herself. She farmed it out to a surrogate. One would thing that an ardent, practicing Catholic would care enough about the public condemnation of her combined bishops enough to personally address the situation.
    • This is not an apology. There is a phrase for this: obstinate, public dissent. And that should be treated a certain way.
    • Pelosi had her chance to apologize. I believe she is testing the waters by having her spokesman respond first, reserving to herself the later option of disowning the spokesman's words and actually apologizing - but only if the issue is pressed.

    Okay, have at it. This isn't over.

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