House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defended Democrats' current effort to eliminate the Hyde Amendment – which prohibits federal dollars from being used to fund most abortions – and invoked her own Catholic faith in the process.
The Catholic Church is firmly opposed to abortion, but Pelosi, who called the matter "an issue of health of many women in America," said it is not up to her to tell other people what they can or cannot do.
"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. But that may not be what we should – and it’s not up to me to dictate that that’s what other people should do, and it’s an issue of fairness and justice for poorer women in our country."
For years, President Biden – also Catholic – supported the Hyde Amendment with the rationale that religious Americans shouldn't have to pay for procedures they fundamentally oppose. He reversed his position during his campaign, leading to strong criticism upon his inauguration from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
"I must point out that our new President has pledged to pursue certain policies that would advance moral evils and threaten human life and dignity, most seriously in the areas of abortion, contraception, marriage, and gender," Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez, the organization's president, said. "Of deep concern is the liberty of the Church and the freedom of believers to live according to their consciences."
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said earlier this month that Biden's newfound opposition to the Hyde Amendment is "yet another way in which the administration has sold itself as moderate and unifying" but "is now spiraling way, way to the left."
Fox News' Sam Dorman contributed to this report.