Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was sworn in yesterday as House Democratic Whip. Pelosi is now the highest-ranking woman in history in the U.S. House of Representatives and the first Italian-American to serve as Democratic Whip. Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal attended the swearing in ceremony as well as a luncheon hosted by Pelosi and attended by former and current women members of Congress.
Pelosi has a strong women’s rights voting record and is staunchly pro-abortion rights. Her first speaking engagement as Whip was at the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL) Roe v. Wade anniversary dinner. Pelosi focused her remarks on securing reproductive rights for women and urged pro-choice supporters to be as vigilant about protecting access to contraception as they are about saving legal abortion. Pelosi noted that abortion opponents were extreme, continuously attacking family planning, and that their influence was notable in Congress, where there is an anti-choice majority.
Pelosi is the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. While serving as a representative from San Francisco, her focus has been on international family planning, AIDS prevention, human rights in China, and environmental causes.