A wonderful column by Fr. Thomas Williams on Speaker Pelosi (and others) over at National Review. Excerpts are below. Emphases added.
"People — including apparently some 'ardent' Catholics — seem to forget how central the pro-life issue is to Catholic morality and why that is so. We are not quibbling here about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. It is no exaggeration to say that the inviolability and sacredness of innocent human life is to Catholic morality what the doctrine of the Holy Trinity is to Catholic dogma. Both are not only non-negotiable; they are foundational. I would challenge Speaker Pelosi to come up with any moral question on which the Church has expressed itself with greater clarity than on the intrinsic evil of abortion.
A solid core of beliefs or principles undergirds any human organization. These beliefs constitute the cement that binds the society together and determine its identity. Obviously plenty of issues fall outside this fundamental core, and there is a difference between legitimate pluralism of opinion and arrant contradiction. Environmentalists, for example, can disagree about many things — such as strategies, priorities, tactics, funding and the like — but devotion to the environment and its logical corollaries are not up for debate. If you sport a mink coat, you’re out of the club..."
"Some people think that when Catholics compare abortion to slavery or to Nazi anti-Semitism they are engaging in hyperbole. They couldn’t be more wrong. Abortion is not only the greatest social injustice of our century; it is arguably the greatest social injustice of all time. Abortion circumscribes an entire class of human beings (the unborn) as non-citizens, excluded from the basic rights and protections accorded to all other human beings. In this way abortion mimics the great moral tragedies of all time, which always began with the denigration of an entire class of people as unworthy of life or freedom.
The evil of abortion is compounded by the magnitude of the problem. Though completely reliable statistics are unavailable, conservative estimates place the number of legal abortions performed worldwide each year at 25-30 million, a figure that alone makes abortion a social problem of staggering proportions. “Humanity today offers us a truly alarming spectacle,” wrote Pope John Paul in his 1995 encyclical letter Evangelium Vitae, “if we consider not only how extensively attacks on life are spreading but also their unheard of numerical proportion.” The legal, systematic elimination of the most vulnerable members of society is the most heinous crime known to man. To fail to oppose it is to make oneself complicit in it."