Monday, July 20, 2009

Grilling Sotomayor on Life

Passed on from a friend.

Sen.Tom Coburn, speaking to Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor at confirmation hearing, July 15, 2009:
We now record fetal heartbeats at 14 days post-conception. We record fetal brainwaves at 39 days post-conception. And I don’t expect you to answer this, but I do expect you to pay attention to it as you contemplate these big issues. We have this schizophrenic rule of the law where we have defined death as the absence of those, but we refuse to define life as the presence of those.
Nathan O'Halloran, SJ


Anonymous said...

I'm Italian and I agree with Buttiglione.I'm catholic and I voted to have abortion legal in Italy.
I don't understand why you American are so obsessed by abortion.

Nathan O'Halloran, SJ said...

We are "obsessed" with abortion because many of us believe it to be murder. Whether outside the womb, or inside the womb, actively seeking the legality of murder is something directly antithetical to being a Catholic citizen. I respect Buttiglione and recognize his close friendship with John Paul II. However, I think he has gone wrong on this. And I generally like to argue that making abortion illegal is not the most crucial part of our fight. That would be changing the culture and changing hearts, without which, criminalizing abortion will have very little effect.

However, there is only one way that Buttiglione's statement makes any sense to me. I'm quoting from someone else commenting on this issue:

"There is, perhaps, one sense in which I could see what he says as being accurate, though I have no idea if this is how it was meant. While it seems entirely clear that no serious Catholic can, in good conscience, support a legal approach in which abortion is treated as an approved medical procedure and indeed a protected right — it does seem to me that the God-created relationship between mother and unborn child is indeed so close that it is not really within the ability of the law to proactively protect the child from his or her mother. In other words, while it seems clear to me that abortion should be illegal, it is arguably not possible for the state to somehow step in and mediate between the mother and the child she carries within her. Having some sort of regime (as pro-choicers sometimes suggest in order to scare pro-lifers off the idea of banning abortion) in which the state actively monitors the child and punishes the mother for not treating the child with sufficient care while in the womb would, quite arguably, have to be so intrusive to work that it would breakdown the God-given meaning of maternal relationship with child."

That is the only way I can understand what he means. I hope when he comes to the United States and is shown around by Mary Ann Glendon, that he will have the experience of traveling in a nation where abortion is still an open question. Possibility the pessimistic situation of abortion in Italy led him to his conclusions.