The Corner

Politics & Policy

NARAL vs. . . . Nancy Pelosi?

In an interview yesterday, Nancy Pelosi said that she does not “believe in abortion on demand” or believe that “abortion is birth control.” These words meant, I think, literally nothing. They do not mark out a category of abortions that Pelosi is willing to prohibit in order to protect unborn human beings. They do not even mark out a category of abortions that she would refrain from requiring taxpayers to pay for. They are just a way of presenting herself as moderate by contrast to a hypothetical extreme that she cannot specify.

Naral, the leading pro-abortion group, is unhappy with Pelosi’s words. It understands that she is with the group from conception through birth. Jennifer Haberkorn reports for Politico:

Pelosi said that she doesn’t believe in “abortion on demand” or that “abortion is a form of birth control” — two phases that abortion foes typically use to characterize abortion-rights supporters. NARAL objected to Pelosi merely repeating those phrases, even if she said she doesn’t agree with them.

How dare Pelosi suggest that it is hypothetically possible to be too extreme in support of abortion.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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