Pelosi’s bizarre defense of late abortion

By Dave Andrusko

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi is to accuracy and clarity what Planned Parenthood is to the practice of good medicine: zero correlation. Whenever Pelosi is pressed on a tough issue–never more so than on abortion—she blends evasion with misdirection and then unjustly [mis]uses her Catholic faith as a shield when anyone wants to know why she supports abortion on demand.

Today’s press conference has to be seen to be (sort of) believed. The Weekly Standard’s John McCormack asked her a tough but fair question. The context was yesterday’s passage by the House Judiciary Committee of nationwide protection for unborn children who are capable of feeling pain, beginning at 20 weeks fetal age–the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 1797).

What follows is just a partial deconstruction of an amazing series of statements from Pelosi. (You can watch the video at www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/pelosi-late-term-abortions-sacred_735188.html along with a transcript of the exchange with McCormack which I have added at the end of this post.)

McCormack began by pointing out what abortionist Kermit Gosnell did at his Women’s Medical Society and then alluded to abortionist Leroy Carhart who has said “he’ll perform elective abortions 28 weeks into pregnancy.” Question: “What’s the moral difference then between 26 weeks elective abortion [Carhart] and the killing of that same infant born alive [Gosnell]?”

Statement #1. “Let me just tell you this. What was done in Philadelphia was reprehensible and everybody condemned it. For them to decide to disrespect a judgment a woman makes about her reproductive health is reprehensible. Next question.”

Pro-abortionists were very, very late and very, very selective in condemning Gosnell. Some knew about how slovenly and dangerous Gosnell’s abortion clinic was but never went to authorities. And what little perfunctory oversight of Gosnell’s clinic there was ended when a pro-abortionist, Tom Ridge, became governor of Pennsylvania. And the murders of babies who were brutally killed outside the womb never made it into the pro-abortionists’ circle of condemnation.

Pelosi’s third sentence could be read a number of different ways, none of which make any sense or are flatly wrong. Who “disrespected” the women’s judgment? Gosnell? Those who subsequently pushed for modest uptick in abortion clinic regulation in Pennsylvania? Those who would (as so many pro-abortionists insisted) “exploit” Gosnell’s House of Horrors, as if pro-lifers had a particular obligation not to mention what the Philadelphia District Attorney called a “Baby Charnel House”?

Statement #2. “They are saying that there’s no abortion. It would make it a federal law that there would be no abortion in our country.”

“They” presumably refers to the supporters of H.R. 1797. Obviously, the bill does nothing of the sort, as anyone who had spent even thirty seconds reading it would know. People like Pelosi who tell us over and over and over again that most abortions occur in the first trimester then tell us that a ban on abortions beginning at 20 weeks fetal age would make it so there “would be no abortion in our country.”

Statement #3. [After McCormack asked a question that you can’t make out on the audio] “I’ve responded to you to the extent that I’m going to respond to you. Because I want to tell you something. As the mother of five children, my oldest child was 6 years old the day I brought my 5th child home from the hospital, as a practicing and respectful Catholic, this is sacred ground to me when we talk about this. I don’t think it should have anything to do with politics. And that’s where you’re taking it and I’m not going there.”

For the most hyper-political/partisan politician in Washington, DC to (falsely) criticize someone—anyone–for indulging in “politics” is to give hypocrisy a bad name. But “sacred ground”???

Is that to suggest that anyone who wants to put an end to the slaughter of mature, pain-capable unborn children is to be condemned for stepping on Pelosi’s own peculiar holy ground? Should we take our shoes off? Is Pelosi elevating the evisceration of unborn children into a kind of secular sacrament?

If you think no one could say (or mean) what Pelosi uttered this morning, please take a few minutes and watch the video at www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/pelosi-late-term-abortions-sacred_735188.html. The transcript–courtesy of the Weekly Standard—is reprinted below.

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THE WEEKLY STANDARD: Madam Leader, you mentioned the bill that passed out of the House Judiciary committee. Members who have proposed that bill have done that in the wake of this murder trial in Philadelphia.

They argue that there really isn’t much of a moral difference between what someone like Dr. Gosnell did to infants born at 23, 24, 25 weeks into pregnancy, and what can happen [legally] at a clinic down the road in Maryland where a doctor says he’ll perform an elective abortions 28 weeks into pregnancy. So the question I have for you is what is the moral difference between what Dr. Gosnell did to a baby born alive at 23 weeks and aborting her moments before birth?

PELOSI: You’re probably enjoying that question a lot, I can see you savoring it. [Laughter in press corps] Let me just tell you this.

TWS: Could you answer the question?

PELOSI: Let me just tell you this. What was done in Philadelphia was reprehensible and everybody condemned it. For them to decide to disrespect a judgment a woman makes about her reproductive health is reprehensible. Next question.

TWS: So what’s the moral difference? I just asked a simple question. … What’s the moral difference then between 26 weeks elective abortion and the killing of that same infant born alive. This is the issue that they’re trying to–

PELOSI: This is not the issue. They are saying that there’s no abortion. It would make it a federal law that there would be no abortion in our country. You’re taking the extreme case. You’re taking the extreme case. And what I’m saying to you what happened in Philadelphia was reprehensible. And I do not think you.

TWS: [Inaudible]

PELOSI: I’m not going to have this conversation with you because you obviously have an agenda. You’re not interested in having an answer.

TWS: [Inaudible]

PELOSI: I’ve responded to you to the extent that I’m going to respond to you. Because I want to tell you something. As the mother of five children, my oldest child was 6 years old the day I brought my 5th child home from the hospital, as a practicing and respectful Catholic, this is sacred ground to me when we talk about this. I don’t think it should have anything to do with politics. And that’s where you’re taking it and I’m not going there.

TWS [after tape ends]: It was a simple question. You didn’t answer.

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