The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is an exasperating person. Her public statements on abortion show an appalling lack of familiarity with the truth. And, although she has been consistently corrected by more knowledgeable people, she continues to spread misinformation about abortion in the health care reform plans.
The most recent examples of this came in connection with the President’s vaunted health care summit. Speaking about the Senate health care bill and the President’s proposal, she said:
… the law of the land is there is no public funding of abortion and there is no public funding of abortion in these bills.
Then, in a follow-up interview, she again said:
I talked to the Catholic Bishops about this and people on all sides of the choice issue. Law prevents federal funding; federal law prevents federal funding of abortion. There is no federal funding of abortion in this bill.
All of this is utterly and completely false. And it is hard to believe that anyone of any degree of intelligence could fail to see it as such.
I’ve blogged before on the Senate bill and the President’s plan (if you’re interested, check here), and the U.S. Bishops have an abundance of information on their website. To put it in a nutshell, both proposals would:
Richard Doerflinger, who works tirelessly on pro-life issues for the U.S. Bishops, said in response to the Speaker:
We do not know how anyone who has spoken to the bishops could conclude that the Senate health care bill does not fund abortions. As the bishops have said in their letters to Congress, abortion problems in the Senate bill are so serious that, despite our strong support for expanding access to health care, we will have to oppose the bill unless they are resolved.
Which brings us back to the exasperating Speaker. What can be said about a person who says things that are patently untrue, is publicly corrected, yet continues to say the same things?
I think the best comment was made by Cardinal Egan, in response to an earlier absurd statement on abortion by the Speaker:
Anyone who dares to defend that [unborn children] may be legitimately killed because another human being “chooses” to do so or for any other equally ridiculous reason should not be providing leadership in a civilized democracy worthy of the name.