House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) addressed the topic of a litmus test for the Democratic party on the issue of abortion Tuesday while answering questions from students at Georgetown University. Pelosi not only said that she did not support a litmus test, she also pointed out that Democrats have pro-life voters, and that a primary reason Trump won with people of faith was the abortion issue.
“Do you believe that the Democratic party should have litmus tests for its candidates for public office?” a student asked.
“I always tell our candidates your job description and your job title are one and the same: representative,” she replied, pointing out that pro-life Democrats are representing pro-life Democratic voters.
“When the day comes when we can say we don’t want any of our voters to be anti-choice then I think we have a right to say we don’t want any of our candidates to be anti-choice,” she said.
Pelosi went on to defend her support for abortion in spite of her Catholic faith and admitted that her own family is not thrilled with the position she takes on the issue.
“I am fully you know I’m a mother of five, I am fully with the Catholic program,” she claimed, describing her own experience as a mother.
She said when she brought her youngest daughter home from the hospital “our oldest child that week was turning six and that was so wonderful and such a joy, but should I be saying as a public official I want to vote so that you can’t have the same decision-making that I did?”
“Now I know that this is touchy on this campus, on all Catholic campuses…and it’s an issue in the diocese I know,” she acknowledged. “But the fact is God gave us all the free will and a sense of responsibility to answer for that so I am a rabid supporter of a woman’s right to choose.”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, the official church teaching on the issue, states that “since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law.”
Pelosi acknowledged that “probably the main reason why people of faith in the evangelical community as well among Catholics and others support President Trump because of the Supreme Court on the issue of a woman’s right to choose and gay marriage.”
“So it is at risk,” she concluded, “but having said that I would not say that if we had a candidate, we did recently, one of my colleagues was up for re-election I supported him, I took heat for it, he’s pro-life, makes no difference, we will have a pro-choice gavel when we win Congress.”
Pelosi was likely referring to Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), a seven-term incumbent who recently won a primary against pro-abortion candidate Marie Newman. Pelosi backed Lipinski in the race despite the fact that many of his far left colleagues and the Democratic National Party would not endorse him.
"This isn’t a pragmatic decision, it’s just a respectful decision,” Pelosi said of her tolerance for pro-life Democrats like Lipinski.