By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Dawn Johnsen, the woman who has been nominated to head the White House Office of Legal Counsel, once compared pregnancy to slavery, said restrictions on abortion “reduce women to fetal containers,” and characterized pregnant women as “the inevitable losers in the contraceptive lottery.”
In spite of her radical opinions and public opposition to existing abortion restrictions, President Obama’s choice as head of the White House legal team was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee by a vote of 11 to 7.
The Susan B. Anthony List, one of many pro-life groups opposing her nomination, said its members have sent over 26,000 letters of opposition to their U.S. Senators.
“Dawn Johnsen does not represent mainstream America or the type of common ground abortion policy President Obama promised this nation,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List.
“Her bizarre characterizations of pregnancy as ‘slavery’ and mothers as ‘losers in the contraceptive lottery’ expose an unacceptable disdain for commonsense abortion restrictions and motherhood in general. Furthermore, Johnsen’s opposition to existing federal restrictions like the ban on partial-birth abortion casts doubt on her ability to perform her duties faithfully as the head of the Office of Legal Counsel.”
While Johnsen served as the legal counsel for National Abortion & Reproductive Rights Action League (now NARAL Pro-Choice America), she authored numerous legal opinions rejecting any and all restrictions on abortion. Some notable quotes from Johnsen’s amicus curiae brief in the case Webster v. Reproductive Health Services include:
“Abortion restrictions ‘reduce pregnant women to no more than fetal containers.'”
“The argument that women who become pregnant have in some sense consented to the pregnancy belies reality…and others who are the inevitable losers in the contraceptive lottery no more ‘consent’ to pregnancy than pedestrians ‘consent’ to being struck by drunk drivers.”
“The experience [of abortion] is no longer traumatic; the response of most women to the experience is relief.”
Johnsen awaits a floor vote by the full U.S. Senate to gain confirmation to head the Office of Legal Counsel.
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