Pelosi -- who promised a huge fight against House Republicans over the issue in the days ahead -- didn't hold back one bit, claiming the new legislative push by Republicans "disrespects the judgment of American women."
"I don't know if they ever give that a thought," she added.
Pelosi described the GOP push as the "most radical assault" on women's reproductive rights "in our lifetimes." And she was equally blunt in her assessment of right-wing assaults on family planning.
"They are at a different philosophical place," she said, characterizing their view as: "all engagement has to result in a child." Pelosi noted that contraception and family planning is "not consistent with their belief that it's all about procreation."
House Republicans have begun work on two bills that would dramatically restrict financing of and access to abortions. They are also looking to zero out funding for Title X, a decades-old program providing federal funds to family planning and reproductive health, which would be a hard hit to Planned Parenthood.
Pelosi indicated that the House Dem Pro-Choice Caucus, which numbers more than 150, would fan out in their communities and argue that Republicans are pushing an extreme agenda that would decimate women's reproductive rights. She added that Dems would push the message that the GOP push -- which means small businesses could lose tax credits to buy health insurance for employees if they choos a plan that covers reproductive health care -- constitutes a "tax hike on women and small businesses."
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 unreconcilable 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."
Pelosi added that this fight was a good way to drive home the reality of GOP extremism to women who were not energized last November, a key swing demographic.
The GOP has sought to wrap its anti-abortion push in the language of fiscal responsibility, but Pelosi's no-holds-barred approach suggests this war could end up being fought out squarely on old culture-war turf.