Commentary

How Would Pelosi's Pro-Abortion 'View' Sound If Applied to Slavery?

By Bill Donohue | September 24, 2021 | 11:41am EDT
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) gives a speech. (Photo credit: OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) gives a speech. (Photo credit: OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who identifies as a Catholic, was asked at her weekly press briefing to reply to comments made by San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone that were critical of the Women's Health Protection Act, a radical pro-abortion bill.

"You're a Catholic," the reporter said. "What's your reaction?"

Here is what she said (she ended with a reference to Cordileone, expressing her disagreement).

"Yeah, I'm Catholic. I come from a pro-life family. Not active in that regard. Different in their view of a woman's right to choose than I am. In my right to choose, I had five children in six years and one week. And I keep saying to people who say things like that, when you have five children in six years and one day, we can talk about what business it is of any of us to tell anyone else [what] to do. For us, it was a complete and total blessing, which we enjoy every day of our lives. But it is none of our business how other people choose the size and timing of their families."

The key word is "view." It is Pelosi's "view" that her pro-life family, and the teachings of the Catholic Church, are wrong on abortion. 

A view is defined by Merriam-Webster as "an opinion or judgment colored by the feeling or bias of its holder." 

Have you ever heard someone say that it's his "view" that there are 12 months in the year? That would make it rebuttable. No, what people say is that there are 12 months in a year. They speak declaratively. It is not an opinion. 

The pope recently said that abortion is "murder," and Archbishop Cordileone called it "child sacrifice." Neither argued that it was his "view." Indeed, the pope said that "any book on embryology" makes clear that life begins at conception. 

If disagreements on abortion amount to nothing more than different "views," as Pelosi contends, then why wouldn't disagreements on slavery amount to the same? Consider what a pro-slavery "Catholic" might say if asked how to reply to his archbishop on the merits of slavery. 

"Yeah, I'm Catholic. I come from an abolitionist family. Not active in that regard. Different in their view of a slavemaster's right to choose than I am. In my right to choose, I bought five children in six years and one week. And I keep saying to people who say things like that, when you have bought five children in six years and one day, we can talk about what business it is of any of us to tell anyone else [what] to do. For us, it was a complete and total blessing, which we enjoy every day of our lives. But it is none of our business whether other people choose to own slaves."

Those who oppose slavery and abortion rest their case on moral absolutes, not opinion. Pelosi's moral relativism places her outside the Catholic community. 

Bill Donohue is president and CEO of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, the nation's largest Catholic civil rights organization. He was awarded his Ph.D. in sociology from New York University and is the author of eight books and many articles.

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