U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called restricting abortion “sinful” on Women’s Equality Day, in contradiction to her Catholic faith.
“The fact that this is such an assault on women of color and women — lower income families is just sinful. It’s sinful,” the Democrat from California said during a “reproductive health” panel on Aug. 26. “It’s wrong that they would be able to say to women what they think women should be doing with their lives and their bodies. But it’s sinful, the injustice of it all.”
Pelosi made her comments while visiting the University of California San Francisco Mission Bay campus for a “reproductive health roundtable discussion.” Her remarks immediately followed a speech from another Democrat from California, who also identifies as Catholic.
“The fact that we have a government now on a federal level that is mandating pregnancy — government-mandated pregnancy — flies in the face of every personal freedom on which our country is founded,” Rep. Jackie Speier said during the event.
The congresswoman, who mentioned her own previous abortion, said she supported expanding access to abortion pills and extending the FDA’s current 10-week limit for use of those pills.
The panel largely responded to the Supreme Court’s decision in June to overturn Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide, and allow states to regulate abortion as they see fit.
“Emboldened by the radical Supreme Court, extreme MAGA [Make America Great Again] Republicans are inflicting unimaginable pain on women and their families,” Pelosi warned at the beginning of the panel. “Indeed, today, American women are not as free as their mothers and their grandmothers were.”
Over the years, Pelosi has defended abortion multiple times while also citing her Catholic faith. Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone announced in May that Pelosi may no longer receive Holy Communion in the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Several other archbishops and bishops followed his lead.
The Catholic Church considers abortion — the destruction of a human person — a grave evil.
“Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception,” the Catechism of the Catholic Church reads. “From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person – among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.”
The Church considers abortion a “crime against human life” and obtaining an abortion — or helping someone else obtain an abortion — are grounds for automatic excommunication.
“Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law,” the catechism says.
At the same time, the Catholic Church offers forgiveness and mercy for those involved with abortion.
“The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy,” the catechism reads, but instead “makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.”