Congressman Asks Obama to Withdraw Pro-Abortion Dawn Johnsen’s Nomination

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 21, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Congressman Asks Obama to Withdraw Pro-Abortion Dawn Johnsen’s Nomination

by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 21
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — A pro-life Congressman is pressing further with his request for President Barack Obama to withdraw his nomination of Dawn Johnsen. She is a former NARAL legal director Obama appointed to head the Office of Legal Counsel, which provides legal advice to the president.

Johnsen has drawn strong opposition not only for her ties to the pro-abortion group but for filing a legal paper on its behalf with the Supreme Court equating pregnancy with slavery.

Rep. Steve King, an Iowa Republican, was part of a group of 63 lawmakers to previously ask Obama to withdraw the nomination and he sent his own letter today to further urge him to scrap Johnsen.

Declaring that Dawn Johnsen “is so against an unborn child’s right-to-live that she has labeled mothers-to-be ‘fetal containers’,” King says she is not the kind of person who should be providing any president with key legal advice.

“Nominating Dawn Johnsen to head the Office of Legal Counsel is an insult to pro-life Americans who are willing to work with President Obama to find common ground,” King writes.

“Her personal pro-abortion agenda, previous disparaging comments about pro-life Americans and past criticism of Congress’ ban on partial-birth abortion are evidence that she is not interested in finding common ground with those who oppose her narrow philosophy,” he added.

Meanwhile, an unrelated issue could affect Johnsen’s nomination.

The pressure for Obama to withdraw her nomination may grow now that Obama has released more Office of Legal Counsel memos detailing CIA interrogation tactics used during the Bush administration.

Senate Republicans have threatened to filibuster the nominations of Johnsen and Harold Hongju Koh, an abortion advocate Obama nominated to become the legal counsel for the State Department, if President Obama released the memos.

Johnsen would become the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of the Legal Counsel if the Senate confirms her nomination. She is currently a professor at the Indiana University School of Law.

She was quizzed about her questionable comments during her hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

In addition to the slavery comparison, Johnsen has written that protecting unborn children from abortion makes women into no more than “fetal containers."

“The woman is constantly aware for nine months that her body is not wholly her own: the state has conscripted her body for its own ends. Thus, abortion restrictions, ‘reduce pregnant women to no more than fetal containers," she wrote in a Supreme Court brief.

She also compared pro-life advocates to Ku Klux Klan saying that pro-life advocates sometimes engage in "terrorist behavior" that is "remarkably similar to the conspiracy of violence and intimidation carried out by the Ku Klux Klan."

After she worked with NARAL, Johnsen 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.

Johnsen is part of the long pro-abortion record Obama has compiled as president.

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