House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said on Sunday that private companies should provide travel expenses for their employees to receive an abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned and they are located in a state that bans the procedure.
Pelosi made the remark during an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” when asked by host Dana Bash, “would you encourage private companies to provide travel for abortions as a health benefit?”
“Well, of course,” Pelosi responded.
Pelosi said that if Roe v. Wade was overturned it would be “the first time the court has taken back a freedom that was defined by precedent and respect for privacy.”
“So, let’s stay focused on who we are as the country and not turn into something where we have to depend on the privacy,” she continued. But it’s also important to know that this is not right. This is not the path of freedom for our country.”
TRANSCRIPT PROVIDED VIA CNN:
DANA BASH, CNN HOST: Let’s turn to Roe vs. Wade.
You protested for abortion rights this week on the Capitol steps.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Yes.
BASH: But, as you know, Roe is still likely to be overturned.
And the bill you passed in the House to legalize abortion is not going to become law anytime soon. So, what can you do to help women who will be seeking abortions, but live in states where it’s banned?
For example, would you encourage private companies to provide travel for abortions as a health benefit?
PELOSI: Well, of course, that, but the fact is we, as a country — this is — let’s just put this in perspective.
What we want women and families and everyone to focus on is the nature of this decision. This is — our country, the genius of our founders was to have a Constitution that enabled freedom to expand. And it did with marriage equality, it did with Roe v. Wade, in many ways, defining freedom more fully.
This is the first time the court has taken back a freedom that was defined by precedent and respect for privacy. So, let’s stay focused on who we are as the country and not turn into something where we have to depend on the privacy. I think that’s all good. It’s helpful to the women, and that’s important.
But it’s also important to know that this is not right. This is not the path of freedom for our country. So they’re putting freedom on the ballot. And our democracy has been on the ballot because of what they have — are doing to elections.
But this is a place where freedom and the kitchen table issues of America’s families come together. What are the decisions that a family makes? What about contraception for young people? It’s just beyond a particular situation. It’s massive, in terms of contraception, in vitro fertilization, again, a woman’s right to decide.
And it’s OK — we want to mitigate for the damage, but we have to get rid of the damage.
BASH: Many Democrats are angry. You’re — I know you’re one of them.
A lot of people in the grassroots are despondent over this draft ruling. And one reason why they’re upset is because conservatives have played the long game here. You know this. They have said over and over for decades that this was their goal, to overturn Roe v. Wade, and that Democratic leaders should have seen this coming.
I’m sure you have heard this too.
PELOSI: Well, I mean, no, I mean, the point is, is, who would have ever suspected that a creature like Donald Trump would become president of the United States, waving a list of judges that he would appoint, therefore, getting the support of the far right, and appointing those anti-just freedom justices to the court?
So, this is not about long game. We played a long game. We won Roe v. Wade a long time ago. We voted to protect it over time. We have fought, have elected a Democratic House of Representatives that is pro-choice.
The — again, you have the 60-vote thing in the Senate and some lack of clarity on part of some of the Republicans who say they’re pro- choice, and then vote against a woman’s right to choose.
But it isn’t — let’s not take our eye off the ball. The ball is this court, which is dangerous to the freedoms of our country.
PELOSI: Beware in terms of marriage equality. Beware in terms of other aspects of it.
And so it is — let’s not waste our time on that. The fact is, this is a dangerous court to families, to freedom in our country. And that is why people have to mobilize. And my saying is, we don’t agonize; we organize.
BASH: And what — and on — what impact…
PELOSI: We go out there and make sure people know that, if they — actually, elections have consequences.
The man that elected… BASH: So, what impact will this have on the midterms?
PELOSI: … what’s-his-name did.
Well, I would hope that we could have some resolution of it before. We’d rather have it resolved, rather than an issue for a campaign, because we’re talking about a woman’s decision-making, her family, her God, her doctor, her own decision-making.
So, we have to fight the fight on the issue now. I think that it would have an impact on the elections. But, right now, I want everyone to just focus, just focus on what this does and what this means to you.
And I say this as a practicing, devout Catholic, five children in six years and one week, I don’t disrespect people’s views and how they want to live their lives. But I don’t think that it’s up to the Donald Trump appointees on the court or any politicians to make that decision for women.
And I just do — I will just say what I have been saying for decades. Understand this. This is not just about terminating a pregnancy. This is about contraception, family planning. They have been against it. They have told, me some of my Republican colleagues, we’re not for any family planning domestically or internationally, when we have tried to get rid of the gag rule and things like that.
BASH: Well, speaking…
PELOSI: So, this is as personal as it gets. All politics is local, Tip. This politics is very personal.