Nancy Pelosi has hit out at San Francisco's archbishop for calling abortion a form of “child sacrifice”, and stressed that women should have the “free will” to chose, amid a fierce debate on abortion rights in Congress.
The House speaker, and a devout Catholic, said she was “from a pro-life family” who believed that it was a woman’s right to chose, when asked about the archbishop’s comments on Thursday.
As The Washington Times reported, Ms Pelosi also criticised San Francisco’s archbishop for commenting on what were, in her own words, a woman’s “business”.
It comes as members of Congress prepare to vote on a bill House Democrats hope will codify the abortion rights of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v Wade, and which are currently under attack in Republican-controlled states.
Archbishop Salvatore J Cordileone, discussing the Women's Health Protection Act, allegedly called the medical procedure a form of “child sacrifice” ahead of the House voting on the bill on Friday.
He was reported as saying that the bill – which would stop states such as Texas from rolling back women’s rights – was “nothing short of child sacrifice, and clearly in reaction, among other things, to the recently passed Texas Heartbeat bill”.
The archbishop also stated that it was “surely the type of legislation one would expect from a devout Satanist, not a devout Catholic”.
Responding to that criticism, Ms Pelosi added on Thursday that she was Catholic and that as a woman, it was “my right to choose” whether to have children.
The Texas abortion law, and that being considered in other Republican states, reduce the time frame in which a woman can legally have an abortion – in spite of opposition from medical professionals and women's’ rights campaigners.
Ms Pelosi went on to say that her and the archbishop “had a disagreement about who should decide this”, and that she believed “that God has given us a free will to honour our responsibilities”.
“For us, [having a child] was a complete and total blessing, which we enjoy every day of our lives, but it’s not our business how other people choose the size and timing of their family,” Ms Pelosi said.
It comes as one Republican senator, Susan Collins, indicated that she would not support the Women's Health Protection Act bill when it comes in front of the upper chamber – which could be next week.
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