Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) refused to answer a pointed question about whether a 15-week-old unborn baby is a human being while speaking to reporters Thursday in Washington, D.C.
During a press briefing on Capitol Hill, a reporter cited a forthcoming Supreme Court case set to consider a state ban on abortions after 15 weeks to press the House speaker on her views surrounding the pivotal issue.
"Is an unborn baby at 15 weeks a human being?" the reporter, Julia Johnson from CNS News, bluntly asked.
Pelosi, who like President Joe Biden is an abortion-supporting Catholic, took a deep breath and paused before answering the question as if weighing the consequences of answering one way or another — then she pivoted.
"Let me just say that I am a big supporter of Roe v. Wade," she responded, altogether dodging the question. "I am a mother of five children in six years. I think I have some standing on this issue as to respecting a woman's right to choose."
Nancy Pelosi Refuses to Answer if a 15-Week Unborn Baby Is a Human Being youtu.be
"Is it a human being?" Johnson reiterated.
But Pelosi ignored Johnson and moved on to field questions from another reporter.
Why does it matter?
The case Johnson referred to is Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, and it involves a law passed in Mississippi in 2018 that prohibits abortions after 15 weeks, with a few exceptions.
The law has been locked up in the court system since its passage, most recently being blocked by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. In its ruling, the appeals court cited Supreme Court precedent which prevents states from banning abortions prior to fetal viability, or the time at which a baby is able to survive outside the womb.
But the Supreme Court is now set to review that issue, and many believe that the newly conservative-leaning court may produce a major rollback of legal precedents surrounding the court's controversial enshrinement of a woman's right to an abortion.
Pelosi's unwillingness to answer one way or another demonstrates the problematic position pro-choice proponents find themselves in lately.
Should Pelosi answer "no" to the question, she may be proven wrong later as science progresses to show just how advanced unborn babies are. Fetal heartbeats can be regularly detected as early as six weeks into pregnancy. If she answers "yes," then she has to argue against what pro-life advocates have claimed for decades — that abortion is akin to murder.
Instead, it is politically advantageous for the speaker to ignore the question, especially as congressional Democrats reintroduce a radical bill that would nix nearly all state-level restrictions on abortion, including late-term abortions.