Hey Nancy Pelosi, Catholics Should Have a Conscience

Opinion   |   Krystle Weeks   |   Nov 28, 2011   |   1:28PM   |   Washington, DC

Recently, Hot Air reported that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi doesn’t understand why the U.S. Catholic bishops are against requiring insurance companies to cover contraceptives, including known abortifacients.She belittles Catholics who object, conscientiously, to paying for or performing services that their church teaches are wrong.

Perhaps she should consider the Catholic Catechism, which says that “Moral conscience, present at the heart of the person, enjoins him at the appropriate moment to do good and to avoid evil.” What could be more good than defending life? And what could be more evil than to disregard it, or denigrate those who seek to uphold it.

Even though the former Speaker is Catholic, she seems to have long forgotten that Catholicism is unequivocal in support of the sanctity of human life, from conception onward. This teaching is discussed throughout the Catechism, and there is even a section regarding the usage of abortifacients, and the Catholic Church’s stance against the use.

The Church’s teaching on this issue has a direct bearing on public policy. It is convenient to say, “I’m personally against abortion, but don’t want to use my personal convictions to make laws.” This is sad and silly: Our moral convictions inform our every decision, public or private; if one avers that personhood begins at conception, and believes this deeply, it should affect the way one legislates.

But as my colleagues Cathy Ruse and Rob Schwarzwalder have argued in their recent booklet, “The Best Pro-Life Arguments for Secular Audiences,” medical science and irreducible logic demonstrate that the embryo is a person – and, if a person, deserving of legal protection.

As a Catholic, I am disheartened that Mrs. Pelosi would advocate against the sanctity of human life. God created life, and it is our role to protect the born and unborn. In fact, Mrs. Pelosi should be reminded of a passage in Jeremiah: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

As this passage indicates, God is the Author of life. If that is true, then one of government’s most fundamental duties is to protect that which He has declared sacred. It is my hope that Mrs. Pelosi will come to recognize this truth.

LifeNews Note: Krystle D. Weeks is the Web Editor for the Family Research Council, where she is responsible for maintaining the content on the website. She is a graduate of McDaniel College (formerly known as Western Maryland College), where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in social work. Following her undergraduate work, Miss Weeks studied briefly at Columbia University in New York and worked with children with behavioral impairments in a social service agency.