Pelosi Responds to Archbishop's 'Child Sacrifice' Comment, Defends Abortion Rights Bill

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is defending an abortion rights bill the House is expected to take up this week, after San Francisco's archbishop likened it to "child sacrifice."

"It's not our business how other people choose the size and timing of their families," Pelosi, a California Democrat whose district includes most of San Fransisco, told reporters Thursday. "What business is it of any of us to tell anyone else what to do?"

The legislation would effectively solidify the right to abortion access nationwide, as Texas and other states approve measures meant to chip away at the legal right established in the Supreme Court's landmark Roe v. Wade decision.

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, a noted conservative Catholic and outspoken opponent of abortion rights, released a statement Tuesday urging Catholics to "pray and fast for members of Congress to do the right thing and keep this atrocity from being enacted in the law." He said that it's "surely the type of legislation one would expect from a devout Satanist, not a devout Catholic."

"This proposed legislation is nothing short of child sacrifice," he wrote. "It is especially shameful that any self-professed Catholic would be implicated in such an evil, let alone advocate for it."

Cordileone didn't directly mention Pelosi. President Joe Biden, also a Catholic who supports the abortion rights legislation, also wasn't mentioned directly.

"The archbishop of the city, that area of San Francisco, and I have a disagreement about who should decide this," Pelosi said. "I believe that God has given us a free will to honor our responsibilities."

The Texas law, which the conservative-tilted Supreme Court allowed to go into effect this month, bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected—about six weeks into a pregnancy. The law also provides for a $10,000 reward for successful civil claims brought against anyone who aids an illegal abortion. Abortion rights advocates argue it is too restrictive, while conservative lawmakers who oppose abortion access are attempting to replicate the measure in other states.

Pelosi and her husband have five children, whom she referred to during the news conference.

"For us, it was a complete and total blessing, which we enjoy every day of our lives," she said.

Earlier this year, Cordileone wrote a letter calling for clergy to withhold Communion from public figures who support abortion rights, arguing that anyone who supports "legislation for the purpose of making abortion a more readily available 'choice' are all cooperating with a very serious evil."

"Those who reject the teaching of the Church on the sanctity of human life and those who do not seek to live in accordance with that teaching place themselves in contradiction to the communion of the Church, and so should not receive the sacrament of that communion, the Holy Eucharist," he wrote.

"We all fall short in various ways, but there is a great difference between struggling to live according to the teachings of the Church and rejecting those teachings," he added.

Cordileone didn't directly address Pelosi, who has long supported access to reproductive health care, or Biden in that letter.

The Archdiocese of San Francisco didn't immediately respond to Newsweek's request for comment on Pelosi's remarks.

Nancy Pelosi defends abortion rights bill
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defended an abortion rights bill after San Francisco's archbishop attacked it this week. Above, Pelosi holds a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on Thursday. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images