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“God gave us free will”

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WASHINGTON – Speaker Nancy Pelosi dismissed the Archbishop of San Francisco’s criticism of the abortion rights bill the House will vote on this week, explaining how she views the issue in accordance with her Catholic faith.

“The Archbishop of the city, of this region, of San Francisco, and I disagree on who should decide this,” Pelosi said at his press conference Thursday. “I believe God has given us the agency to honor our responsibilities.”

The San Francisco Democrat has long been a supporter of abortion rights and is a devout Catholic. Meanwhile, the Archbishop of San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone, has often engaged in political battles, speaking out not only against abortion, but also against same-sex marriage and the coronavirus restrictions on the rally for the worship.

Cordileone issued a statement earlier this week attacking the legislation, called the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2021, as “a heinous evil” and “nothing less than child sacrifice.” In particular, he called out Catholic politicians, easily interpreted as a shot at Pelosi and equally devout President Biden.

“It is particularly shameful that a self-proclaimed Catholic is involved in such an evil, let alone defending it,” he said, calling it “the kind of legislation one would expect from a staunch Satanist, not of a devout Catholic “.

Asked to respond on Thursday, Pelosi admitted that she is an observer and comes from a family that was against abortion. But she said her own opinions are also shaped by her experience as a mother of five.

“I keep telling people who say things like that, when you have five kids in six years and one day, we can talk about the business of each of us to tell someone from other what to do, ”Pelosi said. “For us, it was a complete and utter blessing that we enjoy every day of our lives, but it is none of our business how others choose the size and timing of their family.”

The bill, which the House is expected to pass with only Democratic votes on Friday, would ban restrictive state laws that interfere with women’s ability to have abortions. Democrats are rallying around the bill especially with regard to the Texas law that came into effect on September 1 without Supreme Court intervention banning abortion at six weeks, before many women even knew they were pregnant . The bill’s unique enforcement mechanism – allowing private citizens to sue anyone who facilitates an abortion for $ 10,000 – has so far escaped legal action.

“Every woman, everywhere, has a constitutional right to basic reproductive health,” Pelosi said at her press conference. “Texas law goes beyond a discussion of a woman’s right to choose, it is about vigilantes and bounty hunters and something that is so anti-American. … It is unconstitutional and unfair.

Pope Francis, the head of the Catholic Church and a holy figure of the faith, recently weighed in on pressure from American bishops to deny communion to pro-abortion politicians, saying he never denies communion to anyone and urging bishops to be pastors, not politicians.

Tal Kopan is the Washington correspondent of the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @talkopan