House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is the second major Democrat to upset her pro-abortion constituents with unexpected comments lately. In a new interview with Roll Call, she said this (emphasis added):
I don’t believe in abortion on demand, I don’t believe in abortion on demand. I’m talking about the health of the mother and the child and this is not a decision that a politician should be making. This is about a woman’s judgment. This is about respect — respect — for women. I sometimes wonder if the Republican men who are here even know what’s going on in their own families, because the fact is that contraception and birth control is something that is used — I don’t believe that abortion is a form of birth control or contraception — and if you want to diminish the number of abortions in our country, you should love contraception, but they don’t.
This from Nancy Pelosi, who has dutifully voted for everything the abortion lobby wants, who called late-term abortion “sacred ground,” who gladly accepts awards named after the founder of the abortion-as-birth-control industry, who bitterly snaps at anyone who tries getting her to discuss the science behind what she claims not to believe in?
This isn’t the first time the former Speaker’s tried this whopper—last fall, she claimed to “abhor” abortion. However, Pelosi’s actual record being everything the abortion lobby could want didn’t stop NARAL from criticizing her remarks:
At a time when our rights are under daily attack in the halls of Congress, on the campaign trail, in statehouses and in the courts, now more than ever, we need our champions to speak with a clear and strong voice in support of our legal right to abortion. Unfortunately, Leader Pelosi’s recent comments fall well short of this standard.
The Leader should stop using twisted GOP talking points about abortion and birth control. We don’t know women who demand abortion or use abortion as birth control. We do know women who make thoughtful decisions about how and if they want to start a family, and who need access to all reproductive-health care services, including abortion. We’re confident the Leader does too, which makes her comments all the more troubling.
Time and time again, Leader Pelosi has stood up for women and our reproductive rights. But at a moment when so much is at stake, her comments are particularly disappointing and ill-advised.
So NARAL isn’t satisfied with their elected representatives agreeing 100% with their positions and effectively delivering on their goals; they must also abstain from any rhetoric that might soften their public image enough to better sell their goals to the public. No wonder they keep losing elections.
It is deeply revealing that NARAL is this sensitive. As Ramesh Ponnuru quipped, “How dare Pelosi suggest that it is hypothetically possible to be too extreme in support of abortion.” They have no concern for how they want to be perceived by those not already supporting them, or for how preposterous their complaints sound. Abortion may not be birth control in the sense that you regularly schedule abortions on the assumption you’re going to need them, but it certainly is in the sense that whole point of abortion is to prevent giving birth when you don’t want to.
And if NARAL is right about abortion’s morality, then what would be wrong if women did use it “as birth control”? It’d be less practical for the woman, sure, but from NARAL’s perspective shouldn’t that fall in the category of “women’s personal decisions”?
Similarly, pro-lifers know why we find the concept of abortion “on demand” disgusting, but I’m at a loss as to why NARAL would. They are constantly lobbying to make abortions cheaper and easier to obtain regardless of the reasons for any regulation. NARAL does not support any policy, from informed consent to waiting periods, that would help ensure that the decision to abort isn’t being made casually. And we’re constantly told that no matter what a woman’s reason for aborting is, it’s unquestionable.
All of that sounds an awful lot like an on-demand service to me.
Lastly, NARAL’s implication that they don’t want people getting the idea that abortion is used casually is… essentially the same thing Pelosi was saying. So really, all NARAL is critiquing Pelosi for is agreeing with them, albeit without adding “and of course neither does the pro-choice movement.” Even though the implication was obvious anyway from the facts that Pelosi presumes to represent it and thinks it can do no wrong.
In the pro-abortion world, the activist and politician classes have little of substance to disagree on, so the pettiness of this squabble is to be expected. Truly, they deserve each other.