Barack Obama Finalizes Appointment of Pro-Abortion Lawyer as Legal Counsel

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 5, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Barack Obama Finalizes Appointment of Pro-Abortion Lawyer as Legal Counsel

by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 5
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — Incoming president Barack Obama today finalized the appointment of a leading pro-abortion lawyer as his top legal counsel. Dawn Johnsen, a former NARAL attorney, will serve as the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of the Legal Counsel in the Obama administration.

Johnsen is a professor at the Indiana University School of Law, but she is also a longtime abortion advocate and worked for one of the leading abortion advocacy groups.

Johnsen was the Legal Director for NARAL from 1988-1993.

After that, she served in the Clinton administration as the Acting Assistant Attorney General heading the Office of Legal Counsel from 1997-1998 and as Deputy Assistant Attorney General from 1993-1996. She also served on the Clinton transition team in 1992.

Wendy Wright, the head of Concerned Women for America, told that Obama’s selection reveals a lot about his pro-abortion views and that Johnsen should be disqualified because of her work with a leading abortion advocacy group.

“NARAL’s obsession with abortion skews its legal positions, blinding it to the Constitution’s equal protection for all human beings," she said. "The fact that Ms. Johnsen worked for NARAL is a huge black mark against her judgment and exposes her bias."

"Americans will not be able to trust that Department of Justice’s legal opinions or Obama’s executive orders comply with the Constitution when the lead person for making that judgment is incapable of treating all human beings with respect," she added.

"Obama loses credibility each time he appoints another member of the abortion lobby in his administration," Wright told

News of Johnsen’s appointment, which originally reported in November, was also upsetting to Mike Fichter, the executive director of Indiana Right to Life.

"Obama’s pick is disturbing evidence that the promotion and advancement of abortion on demand will be a high level priority for the incoming administration," he says.

Other key appointments from Obama have disappointed pro-life advocates.

Obama chose pro-abortion Illinois congressman Rahm Emanuel to be his chief of staff and Emanuel has since been caught up in the pay-to-play scandal involving Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Obama also selected pro-abortion former Sen. Tom Daschle as his Health Secretary, abortion advocate Eric Holder as attorney general, and a top bioethics advisor is a leading embryonic stem cell research supporter. In addition, Obama is naming pro-abortion Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine to serve as the next chairman of the national Democratic Party.

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