Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"They have this conscience thing"

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, chatting with the Post's "Lifestyle" section, on Catholics and abortion:

Catholic health-care providers in particular have long said they’d have to go out of business without the conscience protections that Pelosi says amount to letting hospitals “say to a woman, ‘I’m sorry you could die’ if you don’t get an abortion.” Those who dispute that characterization “may not like the language,’’ she said, “but the truth is what I said. I’m a devout Catholic and I honor my faith and love it . . . but they have this conscience thing’’ that she insists put women at physical risk, although Catholic providers strongly disagree.



Garnett, Rick | Permalink

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Mr Winters' history is somewhat inexact. At precisely the time when the Puritans of New England were hanging Catholic priests (and their sponsor Cromwell was slaughtering whole towns), Cecil Lord Calvert decreed a law of religious toleration for his Maryland Colony. The document is contained in the marvelous historical resource, Documents of American History, by Henry Steele Commager (Appleton, Century, Crofts, 6th ed, 1958). This is the first such act that I am aware of anywhere. It was repeated in Dublin, in the brief spring of the Jacobite government in 1689. When the Williamite forces retook Ireland later that year after the disaster at the Boyne, all trace of toleration were expunged from the books.

Posted by: Joel Clarke Gibbons | Nov 22, 2011 10:31:41 AM

Objecting to the wording of a quote that's cut off right at the relevant point seems a bit dangerous to me.

Posted by: Andrew MacKie-Mason | Nov 22, 2011 12:21:33 PM

Andrew - - do you know that the quote was cut off? That is, do you have any reason to think that "thing" was not the end of the sentence spoken by Rep. Pelosi, or that we have any more reason to second-guess the accuracy of this quote than any other?

Posted by: Rick Garnett | Nov 22, 2011 1:47:37 PM



Posted by: Nancy D. | Nov 22, 2011 2:24:58 PM

"but they have this conscience thing’’ that she insists put women at physical risk, although Catholic providers strongly disagree."

What follows the quote seems to be a paraphrasing of her explanation of what "this conscience thing" is. To my eyes, at least, that means she talked more about it in a way that may shed light on what she meant.

Posted by: Andrew MacKie-Mason | Nov 22, 2011 4:32:05 PM