Nancy Pelosi brings it: “We have to make this issue too hot to handle.”

Nancy Pelosi speaking in green suit

Nancy Pelosi is bringing it big time. In a conference call with bloggers yesterday, she called the recent anti-choice push in the House “the most comprehensive and radical assault on women’s health in our life time.” And she and Rep. Diana DeGette promised that pro-choice members of Congress are ready for an all-out fight. The Plum Line reports:

Pelosi acknowledged that Dems could not stop Republicans from passing their anti-abortion agenda through the House. But she said it was crucial that pro-choice forces and Dems kick up enough noise to ensure that it dies in the Senate: “We have to make this issue too hot to handle.”

Pelosi added that the irreconcilable philosophical differences between Republicans and Dems on abortion left Dems no choice but to adopt a scorched-earth approach to the war ahead. “We don’t have a set of shared values,” she said. “We have to fight this out in the public domain, so when we move to the Senate it has no popular support.”

It’s so refreshing to hear a Democratic politician bluntly and unapologetically acknowledge that sometimes there is no common ground or room for compromise. When it comes to bills as extreme as HR3, HR358 and the proposal to eliminate family planning funding, it’s time to just play hard ball. And Pelosi sure knows how to do that.

Other pro-choice lawmakers who’ve made me proud this week: New York’s Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Rep. Jerry Nadler.

St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like,, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

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