(CNSNews.com) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in the opening statement of her press conference on Thursday that—speaking as “a practicing Catholic’—she found it “really scary” that the Supreme Court might overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that declared there was a constitutional “right” to abortion.
In the same statement she indicated the Congress needed to enact legislation enshrining Roe as federal law to counter what the court might do. The Democrat-controlled House has already pass such legislation (The Women’s Health Protection Act), but not the Republican-controlled Senate.
“So, it's scary. It's really scary--and I say that as a practicing Catholic,” Pelosi said. “Again, this shouldn't even be a political issue”
“The codification of Roe, again, codification of Roe is the strongest weapon that we have to blunt these restrictive anti-woman state laws,” she said.
“Now, we don't know what the decision will be from the Court. But, from what they have said about not respecting precedents, stare decisis, all of that, is troubling,” said Pelosi. “And what they had said about–sometimes, I think they need a session in the ‘birds and the bees’ for some of the kinds of statements that they make. I say that as a mother of five–six years and one week, five children. As I say to my colleagues, ‘When you have five children in six years and one week, we can discuss this issue.’ That was great for me; that's not necessarily great for other people.
“And it shouldn't be up to any of us to decide what a woman and her family, her husband and her partner decides is right for them and their family and their future child-bearing possibilities,” she said.
“So, it's scary. It's really scary--and I say that as a practicing Catholic,” she said. “Again, this shouldn't even be a political issue. Look at Ireland. Is there a more Catholic country? Look at Ireland and how they pass legislation respecting, respecting women, respecting women.”
Here is the full text of Pelosi’s statement:
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “Good morning, everyone. It’s still morning. It's been a busy one. As we gather here, the Rules Committee is meeting. We have introduced legislation for the Continuing Resolution, which will hopefully be bought – planned to take up today on the Floor. We plan to take up on the Floor of the House. Sometime early today, it will come out of Rules Committee, go to the Floor, then we'll pass it and send it over to the Senate.
“As you’re probably aware, it has a date of February 18th. And it has, in it, some anomalies that are so very essential. I want to salute Congresswoman, Madam Chair Rosa DeLauro for her just excellent work and her leadership on this, not only CR, but also the omnibus bill that we are – we've passed most of the provisions in the House of Representatives already. We look forward to negotiation with our Republican colleagues, House and Senate, in order to bring the full omnibus to the Floor as soon as possible. This Continuing Resolution gives us until middle of February, but we would hope that we would get that done before. Our men and women in uniform depend on that, our veterans depend on that. There's so much in the legislation that, that addresses our national security. And again, the sooner we can pass the full bill, the better in so many respects. So again, we're very pleased that – this went into the night, so we didn't have anything last night to give you until this morning. So that's it for the CR.
“As, as we anticipate the Senate taking up the Build Back Better legislation, which is, of course very important to the American people in terms of lowering costs: lowering cost of prescription drugs, lowering their tax – taxes for the middle class, build bigger paychecks by building the infrastructure of America both with the BIF and with the BBB, as well as making the future better for our children. As we enter the holiday season, we have to address all of that and question of, of supply chain, inflation, all the rest. The legislation that we have passed addresses much of this, and we have more legislation to come. In the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, it secure $17 billion for ports and waterways to ensure that commerce runs smoothly and we can facilitate trade. In Build Back Better, we have $5 billion to identify and fix disruptions to the supply chain with loans and grants that can be used to invest directly in domestic manufacturing, preserve surge capacity and also to create strategic reserve materials. This is all very specifically written.
“And then today, I'm once again convening the Chairs of the relevant committees so that we can come closer to our version of the competitive, innovation and supply chain legislation that Mr. Leader in the Senate, Mr. Schumer, and I said we would go to conference on. And that's pretty exciting a prospect. There's so much that goes into that. Perhaps you have some questions on that.
“So, that's what's happening legislatively, among other things. But at the same time, we are always, always having our priority to crush the virus, whatever manifestation it may have. And as you may have seen overnight, public officials in San Francisco – and I commend them for their vigilance, recognizing the variant and their leadership in addressing it. I salute the person who was affected by it because he had traveled to South Africa, he came forward with symptoms, as you probably have seen or maybe you have written. But what I was told last night from the responsible parties in San Francisco, his symptoms – he had symptoms. They weren't severe. But since he had been to South Africa, he came forward. All of the people that he had been in contact with have tested negative. His symptoms are not – were not severe, but nonetheless, we must be vigilant. Now, I understand this morning there's another case in the United States. But all the more reason for us to salute the work of the Biden Administration for their hard work to lead us out of this pandemic, that we urge everyone to be vaccinated. The person who incurred the Omicron in South Africa was vaccinated, but he didn't have the booster. And so, if your time – six months since your last shot, we encourage the booster for everyone, even your young ages.
“And so, there are those on the other side of the aisle who have this anti-vax plan. It is anti-science. It would remove all COVID-safety protections. It would end vaccination requirements that people get shots in the arms and make workplaces safe. It's a defiance of science and public health. And that's what we're up against. But the more people who are vaccinated and getting the full complement of their vaccinations, the better. This is having an impact on the health and well-being of the American people, causing disruptions that push up prices actually, hurt small businesses with customers scared. People are being – have apprehension about going into the marketplace, and preventing workers from the reentering the workforce.
“So, that's some of what's on the legislative agenda, and that is our ongoing attention to the COVID virus.
“Yesterday, the Supreme Court took up a very important issue. I viewed it as listening–as a very dark day. The Supreme Court heard arguments about the case of Mississippi's extreme law. The court is threatening to trample over the Constitution, destroy Roe v. Wade and turn away – take away a woman's freedom to make the most fundamental decision that she can make for herself and her family, working with her family members and her doctor and her faith.
“And so, we have a situation where, for us, we believe the strongest weapon that we have here is to pass the Roe v. Wade codification. We did that already in the House. That is, it establishes statutory right for health care providers to provide and women to avail themselves to receive abortion care, free from medically unnecessary restrictions. The DOJ and providers and those harmed by restrictions made unlawful under the act could go to court to enforce those rights. It made – the law, the Women's Health Protection Act would protect access to termination of a pregnancy across the country. The codification of Roe, again, codification of Roe is the strongest weapon that we have to blunt these restrictive anti-woman state laws.
“Now, we don't know what the decision will be from the Court. But, from what they have said about not respecting precedents, stare decisis, all of that, is troubling. And what they had said about – sometimes, I think they need a session in the ‘birds and the bees’ for some of the kinds of statements that they make. I say that as a mother of five – six years and one week, five children. As I say to my colleagues, ‘When you have five children in six years and one week, we can discuss this issue.’ That was great for me; that's not necessarily great for other people. And it shouldn't be up to any of us to decide what a woman and her family, her husband and her partner decides is right for them and their family and their future child-bearing possibilities. So, it's scary. It's really scary.
“And I say that as a practicing Catholic. Again, this shouldn't even be a political issue. Look at Ireland. Is there a more Catholic country? Look at Ireland and how they pass legislation respecting, respecting women, respecting women.”