House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday defended a Democratic bill aimed at protecting abortion access in the U.S. after the Archbishop of San Francisco – her home district – compared it to "child sacrifice."
Pelosi, who is a Roman Catholic, said she believes God gives people "free will to honor our responsibilities," The Washington Post reported.
She noted that she grew up in a pro-life home in her native Baltimore and after she married gave birth to five children in six years.
"For us, it was a complete and total blessing, which we enjoy every day of our lives," she said. "But it’s none of our business how other people choose the size and timing of their families."
"It’s none of our business how other people choose the size and timing of their families."
The Women’s Health Protection Act would solidify the abortion protections provided by the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision and comes amid a Democratic backlash to a new Texas law that effectively bans all abortions after around six weeks.
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone called the bill "misnamed" and said it’s "shameful that any self-professed Catholic would be implicated in such an evil, let alone advocate for it."
"This proposed legislation is nothing short of child sacrifice," he added in a statement released earlier this week. He asked Catholics to "pray and fast for members of Congress to do the right thing and keep this atrocity from being enacted in the law. A child is not an object to be thrown away, and neither is a mother’s heart."
Pelosi said she and the archbishop have a "disagreement about who should decide" if a woman can get an abortion.
Both Pelosi and President Biden – who is also a Catholic – support a woman’s right to choose.
The Department of Justice has sued Texas over its heartbeat bill, calling it "unconstitutional" and in violation of Roe v. Wade. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and other Republicans have vowed to defend the law.
Last summer, The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops voted overwhelmingly to draft a formal document on the meaning of the Eucharist over whether Biden and other politicians who support abortion policies should receive communion.
The bishops plan to discuss the draft at their annual meeting in November but have clarified there is no national policy banning politicians from communion, according to the Post.
But the pope, this month, advised bishops against denying the Eucharist for political reasons. "I have never refused the Eucharist to anyone," he said, adding it isn’t a "prize for the perfect."