House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), breaking with Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez, said on Tuesday that abortion is no longer a key issue for the left.
“It’s kind of fading as an issue,” Pelosi told The Washington Post on Tuesday. “It really is.”
Last month, Perez said unwavering support for abortion is “not negotiable” for Democrats — a claim Pelosi rejected at the time, saying “of course” pro-life liberals are welcome in the party. She’s taking an even stronger stand now because, in her mind, the Democratic Party “is not a rubber-stamp party.”
“I grew up Nancy D’Alesandro, in Baltimore, Maryland; in Little Italy; in a very devout Catholic family; fiercely patriotic; proud of our town and heritage, and staunchly Democratic,” Pelosi said. “Most of those people — my family, extended family — are not pro-choice. You think I’m kicking them out of the Democratic Party?”
But for the top House Democrat, it’s not just about principle — it’s about politics. Pelosi warned Democrats that they might not be able to win in today’s climate if they hold hard-line positions on social issues like abortion.
“You know what? That’s why Donald Trump is president of the United States — the evangelicals and the Catholics, anti-marriage equality, anti-choice. That’s how he got to be president,” she told the Post. “Everything was trumped, literally and figuratively, by that.”
Drew Hammill, Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, later clarified the lawmaker’s comments, saying in a statement that Democrats are aware of ideological differences within the party but they together believe “legislating those beliefs onto others is a complete non-starter.”
Pelosi said Democrats are unified by “our values about working families.”
“Some people are more or less enthusiastic about this issue or that issue or that issue,” she continued. “They’ll go along with the program, but their enthusiasm is about America’s working families.”
As would be expected, Pelosi’s comments have ruffled the feathers of some pro-abortion groups.
The president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, a leading pro-abortion advocacy group, swiftly rejected the California Democrat’s less-than-combative statement on abortion.
“Encouraging and supporting anti-choice candidates leads to bad policy outcomes that violate women’s rights and endanger our economic security,” Ilyse Hogue wrote in an email to the Post.
March for Life, a leading anti-abortion advocacy organization, did not immediately respond to TheBlaze’s request for comment.