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when bad science is good enough

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | Apr 27, 2009

 Today's story about the Pregnant Woman Support Act reminds me of the time when Leila realized she was pregnant with our 4th child. I'd just started a new job, and we'd moved to a new home in a new state. (For a while Leila had thought that the stress of the move, combined with the care of the other 3 little ones, was enough to explain why her digestive system was unsettled every morning.) The pregnancy raised a financial question, since we'd just switched to a new health-insurance policy. Would this be ruled a "pre-existing condition," for which the insurer would not pay benefits? Leila went to the doctor, who confirmed what she already knew. He also set our minds at ease on the insurance question. For the purpose of medical benefits, he said authoritatively, pregnancy  begins when the doctor diagnoses it. 

Hmm. That's not exactly a scientific statement about how human life originates. But y'know what? We decided not to challenge it. 

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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