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Pelosi on human life

human_life.jpg

Image by Robert Henrich

Last August Tom Brokaw put one of the 2008 Presidential campaign “hot button” questions to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi: when does human life begin? After a not-so-masterful mangling of Catholic Church doctrine, Pelosi (a self-described “ardent, practicing Catholic”) declared, “We don’t know.” With no further explanation of who the rest of “we” was, she quickly added, “The point is, that it shouldn’t have an impact on a woman’s right to choose.”

If, as Pelosi asserts, we don’t know when life begins, then a fetus might be a human life. So the intentional termination of the life of a fetus might be the intentional killing of an innocent human being. We don’t know. But it doesn’t matter, says Pelosi.

In 1772 Samuel Adams wrote, “Among the natural rights of the Colonists are these: First, a right to life; Secondly, to liberty;…” That order seemed to be a no-brainer – until now. It seems Pelosi would reverse that order, revising the Declaration of Independence to read, “...among those rights are liberty, the pursuit of happiness and life.”

Coming from the country’s third-ranking political leader, what does that say about our government’s internal position on human rights? And what does the deafening lack of outcry (except for the Catholic Church and a handful of others) say about the moral stand of the country as a whole? Is it really okay to kill what might be an innocent human being when the life of another innocent human being is not at stake?

Pelosi went on to profess a desire to “reduce the number of abortions.” It remains to be seen what effect Pelosi’s remarks will further her desired goal. Abortions in the
United States
have been declining for the past 20 years or so, according to the Guttmacher Institute. That’s good news, Pelosi would agree. But what happens when women stop worrying about whether it’s a baby or not? And Pelosi should already be concerned about the numbers here in the Binghamton/Broome County area, which have bucked the national trend: while the national rate declined about 10% from 1997 to 2007,
BroomeCounty’s rate
increased more than 20%. Nancy, which direction would you guess those numbers will head if
BroomeCounty takes your advice and stops caring about prenatal human life?

For more info: The Guttmacher Institute and the Center for Disease Control are the only organizations that compile and report national abortion data. Both sides seem to agree that the Guttmacher numbers are more accurate, since they actively collect data rather than relying on voluntary reporting, as does the CDC. For commentary on Vice President Biden's response to the question, "When does life begin?" see "Faith and politics ala Joe Biden".

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