House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may no longer receive Holy Communion in her home archdiocese of San Francisco after publicly supporting abortion as a Catholic politician. The Catholic Church considers abortion — the destruction of a human person — a grave evil.
The archbishop of San Francisco, Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone, announced his decision Friday after spending months trying to contact and meet with the California Democrat. His decision, he says, is a pastoral one and not a political one.
Over the years, Pelosi has defended abortion while citing her Catholic faith. Here are 10 examples.
1. May 15, 2022
Pelosi spoke about the likelihood of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide in 1973, on CNN’s “State of the Union” with Dana Bash.
“We’d rather have it resolved, rather than an issue for a campaign, because we’re talking about a woman’s decision-making, her family, her God, her doctor, her own decision-making,” she said. “So we have to fight the fight on the issue now. I think that it would have an impact on the elections. But right now, I want everyone to just focus, just focus on what this does and what this means to you.”
“And I say this as a practicing, devout Catholic: five children in six years and one week,” she added. “I don’t disrespect people’s views and how they want to live their lives. But I don’t think that it’s up to the Donald Trump appointees on the court or any politicians to make that decision for women. And I just do — I will just say what I have been saying for decades. Understand this. This is not just about terminating a pregnancy. This is about contraception, family planning.”
2. May 4, 2022
While speaking with The Seattle Times editorial board, Pelosi said, “The very idea that they would be telling women the size, timing or whatever of their family, the personal nature of this is so appalling, and I say that as a devout Catholic.” She added, “They say to me, ‘Nancy Pelosi thinks she knows more about having babies than the pope.’ Yes I do. Are you stupid?”
3. March 22, 2022
Pelosi spoke about her support of legalized abortion and argued that the Supreme Court should not overturn Roe v. Wade at the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, Texas.
“It isn’t about what is your religious belief,” she said. “It’s what is the right of people to make their own decisions about the sizing and time, or if they’re going to have a family. This really gets me burned up, in case you didn’t notice, because, again, I’m very Catholic — devout, practicing, all of that. They would like to throw me out, but I’m not going, because I don’t want to make their day.”
4. Dec. 2, 2021
Speaking about the Supreme Court considering its former decision in Roe v. Wade during her press briefing, Pelosi said: “As I say to my colleagues, ‘When you have five children in six years and one week, we can discuss this issue.’ That was great for me; that’s not necessarily great for other people. And it shouldn’t be up to any of us to decide what a woman and her family, her husband and her partner decides is right for them and their family and their future child-bearing possibilities. So, it’s scary. It’s really scary.”
She added, “And I say that as a practicing Catholic. Again, this shouldn’t even be a political issue. Look at Ireland. Is there a more Catholic country? Look at Ireland and how they pass legislation respecting, respecting women, respecting women.”
5. Sept. 24, 2021
Pelosi brought her Catholic faith as she expressed support for a radical abortion bill, the Women’s Health Protection Act.
“For years, radical restrictions on women’s reproductive health freedoms have been pushed across the nation, with 2021 on track to be the worst legislative year for women’s health rights,” she told the House of Representatives. “I come to this as a Catholic mother of five in six years and one week and with the joy that all that meant to us. But with the recognition that it was my husband and I — our decision. It was our decision. And we should not, in this body or in that Court, be making decisions for the women in America.”
6. July 22, 2021
Pelosi cited her Catholic faith while defending taxpayer-funded abortion at her weekly press conference.
“As a devout Catholic and mother of five in six years, I feel that God blessed my husband and me with our beautiful family, five children in six years almost to the day,” she said, adding, “it’s not up to me to dictate that that’s what other people should do, and it [funding of abortion in Medicaid] is an issue of fairness and justice for poorer women in our country.”
7. April 24, 2018
While speaking to students at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., Pelosi addressed criticism of supporting abortion as a Catholic.
“I know this is touchy on this campus — on all Catholic campuses. … And it’s an issue in the diocese,” she said. “But the fact is, God gave us all the free will [and] our sense of responsibility to answer for that. So I am a rabid supporter of a woman’s right to choose and a similar issue of the LGBT community, because they are connected.”
8. Jan. 13, 2016
In a comment responding to her opposition of a 20-week abortion ban, Pelosi cited her faith.
“Let me say this; I’m a Catholic, a devout, practicing Catholic. I take great comfort in my faith, come from a very Catholic family, largely pro-life. I’ve had five children and the day my fifth child was born, my oldest turned 6, so I’m with the program in terms of the Catholic Church. However, if there’s one issue that really — I try to be dispassionate about how we find solutions — if there’s one issue that really is almost inflaming to women, is when politicians say we will influence the size and timing of your family; we will decide what is right for you.”
9. June 13, 2013
Pelosi opposed a bill that would ban abortion after 20 weeks gestation and said, at a press conference, that the bill was an effort to ensure that “there will be no abortion in our country.”
“As a practicing and respectful Catholic, this is sacred ground to me when we talk about this,” she said. “I don’t think it should have anything to do with politics.”
10. Aug. 24, 2008
When she was ssked when life begins on “Meet the Press,” Pelosi brought up her Catholic faith.
“I would say that as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time,” she said. And what I know is, over the centuries, the doctors of the Church have not been able to make that definition…. St. Augustine said at three months. We don’t know.”
“The point is, is that it shouldn’t have an impact on the woman’s right to choose,” she added. “This isn’t about abortion on demand, it’s about a careful, careful consideration of all factors and—too—that a woman has to make with her doctor and her god [sic]. And so I don’t think anybody can tell you when life begins, human life begins.”
According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the Catholic Church’s pro-life position has remained consistent from the beginning.
“In the 5th century AD this rejection of abortion at every stage was affirmed by the great bishop-theologian St. Augustine,” who taught that “we cannot assume that the earliest aborted children will be excluded from enjoying eternal life with God,” the USCCB states.
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