Initial comments from Nancy Pelosi that sparked the open letter from Fr. Frank
THE WEEKLY STANDARD: Madam Leader, you mentioned the bill that passed out of the House Judiciary committee. Members who have proposed that bill have done that in the wake of this murder trial in Philadelphia.
They argue that there really isn't much of a moral difference between what someone like Dr. Kermit Gosnell did to infants born at 23, 24, 25 weeks into pregnancy, and what can happen [legally] at a clinic down the road in Maryland where a doctor says that he'll perform an elective abortions 28 weeks into pregnancy. So the question I have for you is what is the moral difference between what Dr. Gosnell did to a baby born alive at 23 weeks and aborting her moments before birth?
PELOSI: You're probably enjoying that question a lot, I can see you savoring it. [Laughter in press corps] Let me just tell you this.
TWS: Could you answer the question?
PELOSI: Let me just tell you this. 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. Next question.
TWS: So what's the moral difference? I just asked a simple question. … What's the moral difference then between 26 weeks elective abortion and the killing of that same infant born alive. This is the issue that they're trying to--
PELOSI: This is not the issue. They are saying that there's no abortion. It would make it a federal law that there would be no abortion in our country. You're taking the extreme case. You're taking the extreme case. And what I'm saying to you is what happened in Philadelphia was reprehensible. And I do not think you--
PELOSI: I'm not going to have this conversation with you because you obviously have an agenda. You're not interested in having an answer.
PELOSI: I've responded to you to the extent that I'm going to respond to you. Because I want to tell you something. As the mother of five children, my oldest child was 6 years old the day I brought my 5th child home from the hospital, 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.
TWS [after tape ends]: It was a simple question. You didn't answer.
Watch a video of this press conference
Nancy Pelosi's response to Fr. Frank's open letter
Fr. Frank's response to Pelosi's response