The Corner

Pope Andrew

If I were to answer Andrew Sullivan in the same condescending terms in which his latest posts respond to my attempts to help him out, I would say that he is “unaware of the distinction” between teratomas and complete hyatidiform moles, on the one hand, and zygotes on the other. (This would have the great virtue of probably being true.) In addition to missing that distinction, he misdescribes the views of the pope and of Robert P. George. (On Sullivan’s account of their views, they would have to deny the humanity of people with Down syndrome, which is absurdly false.) The idiotic emails that Sullivan posts and endorses notwithstanding, the fact remains that Sullivan can’t generate the statistics he cites on the natural death rate of “unborn children”—his precise scientific term, not mine—without counting teratomas and hyatidiform moles. If Sullivan is incapable of getting a sufficiently strong grasp of these questions to engage other commentators, perhaps he should reconsider getting into the weeds on the issue.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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