Indiana State Senators Tell Lugar, Bayh: Oppose Pro-Abortion Dawn Johnsen
by Steven Ertelt
May 18, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Thirty Indiana state senators have signed a letter urging their two U.S. senators to oppose the nomination of abortion advocate Dawn Johnsen. President Barack Obama has appointed the controversial Indiana University professor to head the Office of Legal Counsel.
In that position, Johnsen, who has been condemned for comparing pregnancy to slavery, would provide legal advice to Obama and administration officials.
She has also come under fire for comparing pregnant women to "fetal containers," labeling pregnant women "losers in the contraceptive lottery," and comparing pro-lifers to the Klu Klux Klan.
Johnsen is a longtime abortion advocate and worked for one of the leading abortion advocacy groups. She was the Legal Director for NARAL from 1988-1993 and has also worked for the ACLU, a pro-abortion legal group.
Despite her controversial statements and abortion advocacy, she has the support of Senators Evan Bayh, who is considered a moderate Democrat, and Richard Lugar, a Republican who frequently votes pro-life.
The state lawmakers, including Senate President Pro Tempore David Long, have co-signed a letter urging them to vote no on Johnsen’s nomination when the full U.S. Senate takes it up. The letter was overnighted to the offices of both Bayh and Lugar on Friday.
The legislators say the nomination is important because "Johnsen will determine the legal course of the entire government."
"Johnsen’s past employment as legal director of the National Abortion & Reproductive Rights Action League and with the American Civil Liberties Union’s Reproductive Freedom Project clearly indicates her support of abortion on demand," the letter, provided to LifeNews.com, reads.
"However, our concern is that Johnsen is more than simply pro-choice-she is pro-choice in an extremely radical way, which is evidenced not only by her career but also by her harsh, sensationalizing rhetoric," the lawmakers add.
The letter cites the controversial statements more in-depth"
· Johnsen claimed that Senator Hillary Clinton’s call for policy changes to reduce the number of abortions was "a step in the wrong direction." Dawn Johnsen in The Constitution in 2020
· Johnsen claimed that abortion restrictions "reduce pregnant women to no more than fetal containers." Dawn Johnsen in a Supreme Court amicus brief she authored in Webster v. Reproductive Health Services
· Johnsen compared pro-life advocates to the Ku Klux Klan: "The ‘terrorist’ behavior of petitioners is remarkably similar to the conspiracy of violence and intimidation carried out by the Ku Klux Klan…" Dawn Johnsen, in a Supreme Court amicus brief she authored in Bray v. Alexandria Women’s Health Clinic
· Johnsen compared pregnancy to slavery. In 1989, she wrote "Statutes that curtail her abortion choice are disturbingly suggestive of involuntary servitude, prohibited by the Thirteenth Amendment, in that forced pregnancy requires a woman to provide continuous physical service to the fetus in order to further the state’s asserted interest." Dawn Johnsen, in a Supreme Court amicus brief she authored in Webster v. Reproductive Health Services
· Johnsen argued that the government should strip the Catholic Church and other religious denominations of their tax exempt status because of their pro-life advocacy. United States Catholic Conference v. Abortion Rights Mobilization
· Johnsen was heavily involved in the authorship of the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), which would repeal every state and federal restriction on abortion and further enshrine abortion as the law of the land.
· Johnsen wrote in a paper given to mark the 35th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that the first priority of the progressive agenda was to "focus on the courts as the vehicle of desired change."
"There is no room in the Justice Department for this kind of politicization," the letter concludes.
Senate action on the Johnsen nomination is expected in the weeks following the Memorial Day recess.
ACTION: Contact members of the Senate at https://www.senate.gov and urge strong opposition to Johnsen’s appointment.
Related web sites:
Indiana Right to Life – https://www.protectinglife.com
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