A pro-life group called on California Democrat Rep. Nancy Pelosi to “exercise your duties as a public servant and a Catholic, or have the honesty to formally renounce them,” in a widely-circulated open letter Wednesday.
“Public servants are supposed to be able to tell the difference between serving the public and killing the public. Apparently, you can’t,” wrote national director of Priests for Life Father Frank Pavone. “Otherwise, you would have been able to explain the difference between a legal medical procedure that kills a baby inside the womb and an act of murder.”
Pavone’s letter was written in response to the Minority Leader’s argument with a reporter — The Weekly Standard asked Pelosi to clarify her position on abortion in the wake of the Kermit Gosnell case during a press conference Thursday.
“What is the moral difference between what Dr. Gosnell did to a baby born alive at 23 weeks and aborting her moments before birth?” the reporter asked.
Pelosi dismissed the question and equated Gosnell’s crimes with pro-life activists’ condemnation of abortion.
“What was done in Philadelphia was reprehensible and everybody condemned it. For them to decide to disrespect a judgment a woman makes about her reproductive health is reprehensible,” she said. “Next question.”
When pressed for an answer, Pelosi pushed back harder, telling the reporter abortion should not be a political matter.
“As a practicing and respectful Catholic, this is sacred ground to me when we talk about this. I don’t think it should have anything to do with politics. And that’s where you’re taking it and I’m not going there,” Pelosi said, according to the press conference transcript.
In response to Pelosi, Pavone wrote that Pelosi’s answer violated both her duties as a public servant and a practicing Catholic.
“Abortion is not sacred ground; it is sacrilegious ground. To imagine God giving the slightest approval to an act that dismembers a child he created is offensive to both faith and reason,” Pavone wrote. “And to say that a question about the difference between a legal medical procedure and murder should not ‘have anything to do with politics’ reveals a profound failure to understand your own political responsibilities, which start with the duty to secure the God-given right to life of every citizen.”
“Whatever Catholic faith you claim to respect and practice, it is not the faith that the Catholic Church teaches,” Pavone continued. “And I speak for countless Catholics when I say that it’s time for you to stop speaking as if it were.”