Pelosi: ‘Of Course’ Democratic Party Has Room for Pro-Lifers

There is "of course" a place for pro-life Democrats in the Democratic Party, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) told Chuck Todd on NBC's "Meet The Press" on Sunday morning.

The topic came up when Todd asked Pelosi about the controversial race to elect the next mayor of Omaha, Nebraska, where progressive icon Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) has endorsed Democrat Heath Mello.

Mello sparked a liberal backlash when news emerged that he backed "anti-choice" legislation while in the Nebraska legislature, and Sanders' endorsement attracted the ire of left-wing news site Daily Kos and abortion rights group NARAL. Mello told the Huffington Post he would not do anything in office to "restrict access to reproductive health care."

Todd asked Pelosi to explain what should unify the Democratic Party, especially in light of the "back and forth" conflict within the left over Mello's stance and Sanders' endorsement. Todd read part of a statement from Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez in which he said that he completely disagreed with Mello, but added that Mello had made "a promising step" in making clear that he would not work to restrict abortion.

"Can you be a Democrat," Todd asked, "and [have] the support of the Democratic Party, if you're pro-life?"

"Of course," Pelosi said. "I have served many years in Congress with members who have not shared my very positive, my family would say aggressive, position on promoting a woman's right to choose."

Pelosi then pivoted to talking about what does unify the Democratic Party, emphasizing jobs and supporting the American middle class.

Pelosi's comments came the same morning that Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D., Ill.) said he felt only people who support the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling can be a part of the Democratic Party.