Speaker Pelosi won’t answer if unborn child is a human being at 15 weeks

Pelosi Michael Candalori/Shutterstock

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday would not say if an unborn child at 15 weeks was a human being.

At a press conference on Capitol Hill on Thursday, a reporter from CNSNews asked Pelosi about a case currently before the Supreme Court – Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization – regarding Mississippi’s ban on most abortions after 15-weeks. The exchange was broadcast by CBS News.

“Is an unborn baby at 15 weeks a human being?” the reporter asked Pelosi. The Speaker answered that she supported Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.

“Let me just say that I am a big supporter of Roe v. Wade. I am a mother of five children in six years. I think I have some standing on this issue, as to respecting a woman’s right to choose,” Pelosi answered.

Pelosi, a Catholic, has supported legal abortion during her time in Congress, and has pushed for taxpayer funding of abortion through removing the Hyde amendment.

In a Jan. 18 podcast with former senator and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Pelosi said that the support for President Trump by pro-life voters “gives me great grief as a Catholic.” She said that those who voted for Trump because of the abortion issue “were willing to sell the whole democracy down the river for that one issue.”

She added that those who “reject terminating a pregnancy” should “love contraception.”

Her local ordinary, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, responded in a statement several days later, “No Catholic in good conscience can favor abortion.” Archbishop Cordileone said that “Nancy Pelosi does not speak for the Catholic Church.”

In a 2008 interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press”, Pelosi said that regarding the question of when life begins, “over the centuries, the Doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition.” She said that her Catholic faith “shouldn’t have an impact on a woman’s right to choose.” 

“And on the question of the equal dignity of human life in the womb, she [Pelosi] also speaks in direct contradiction to a fundamental human right that Catholic teaching has consistently championed for 2,000 years,” he said.

In May, Cordileone expressed hope that “progress can be made” in talks with Pelosi on her support for legal abortion and worthiness to receive Holy Communion.  

Supreme Court oral arguments in the Dobbs case are scheduled for this fall.

In 2013, in response to a question about a 20-week abortion ban, Pelosi said the bill was part of an effort to ensure that “there will be no abortion in our country.” She described the issue as “sacred ground” to her.

“As a practicing and respectful Catholic, this is sacred ground to me when we talk about this,” she said.

In 2019, she said the passage of pro-life laws in several states was “about lack of respect for women.”

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