Nancy Pelosi: Abortion response to reporter, 'I'm not going there'

(CNN) -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi got into a heated back and forth Thursday with a reporter inquiring about a measure that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, alleging the comparison the journalist made to a criminal abortion doctor in Philadelphia was made for political purposes.

The clash came the day after Rep. Trent Franks - the creator of the 20 week abortion proposal -- caused outrage when he said the "incidents of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low." He later clarified his remarks.

Speaking Thursday at her weekly press conference, Pelosi said the House Judiciary Committee's passage of Frank's measure was an example of Republicans' focus on issues other than what Americans care about - jobs.


"Just another day in the life of the Republican Congress," Pelosi quipped.

"They passed legislation that was disrespectful of the rights, health and safety of the American women. All of the people who voted for the bill were men," she continued.

She pointed to a few other agenda items before beginning the question and answer section, calling on reporter John McCormack from the conservative magazine Weekly Standard.

McCormack asked about the GOP bill, saying some argue there's no difference between what the measure is intending to prevent and the crimes committed by Dr. Kermit Gosnell, a Philadelphia abortion provider who was convicted in May on three consecutive counts of first-degree murder for killing babies by cutting their spinal cords with scissors.

Asking Pelosi what the "moral difference" was between abortions after 20 weeks and Gosnell's crimes, Pelosi bristled and said to the reporter she could tell he was "enjoying the question" and "savoring it."

"This is not the issue," the California Democrat said, calling Gosnell's crimes "reprehensible" while claiming the GOP-sponsored measure would "make it a federal law that there be no abortion in the country."

"I'm not going to have this conversation with you because you obviously have an agenda," she told McCormack. "You're not interested in having an answer. But I've responded to you to the extent that I'm going to respond to you because I'm going to tell you something: as a mother of five children -- my oldest child was six years old the day I brought my fifth child home from the hospital - as a practicing and respectful Catholic, this is sacred ground to me when we talk about this. I don't think it should have anything to do with politics and that's where you're taking it and I'm not going there."

Later another reporter tried to ask a question related to the abortion bill and Pelosi said she wasn't talking about the issue anymore.


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