March 7, 2019 Blog

Democratic Women & Black Caucus Members Denounce Comparisons Equating Abortion to Lynching, Slavery & Holocaust

Members of the Kentucky Legislative Black Caucus and the Women’s House Democratic Caucus stood together Thursday to oppose rhetoric equating legal abortion procedures to lynching, slavery and the Holocaust.  They said such language has created a hostile and toxic working atmosphere during this year’s legislative session.

“These comparisons are beyond appalling,” said state Rep. Attica Scott of Louisville.  “In no way is it just or fair to compare a woman’s legal right to choose what happens with her own body to the evil legacy of slavery and lynching in our country and the Holocaust during World War II.  This type of language poisons the democratic well, and has made it all but impossible for many others and me to work with some legislators on other issues because of their unyielding stance. We demand a return to reasonable debate that does not resort to putting millions of women on the same moral plane as Hitler.”

“Comparisons to lynchings and to the Nazi Holocaust for political purposes are divisive and deeply offensive,” said Rep. Willner of Louisville.  “Out of respect for the victims of lynchings and the Nazi Holocaust and their descendants, we plead for these outrageous comparisons to cease.  Whatever a woman’s motivation in exercising her individual moral right of conscience in a deeply personal healthcare decision, surely it is not bigotry and hatred, nor the intentional extermination of an entire people based on race or religion.”

“It is truly sad that we have reached a point where we actually have to ask our House and Senate colleagues not to use such a vile time in our history as a prop to pass their legislation,” said Rep. Reginald Meeks of Louisville.  “We’re better than that, or at least should be. Instead of passing one unconstitutional bill after another, let’s focus instead on enacting laws that actually improve our overall health and well-being. That’s what the people of Kentucky sent us here to do.”

Members from the two caucuses said the press conference was organized as a response to the debate surrounding House Bill 5, which seeks would ban abortions based on sex, race, color, national origin or disability.  After a contentious debate in committee and on the House floor late last month, it was approved and is now in the Senate.