Blog Post

White House Re-nominates Anti-Catholic, Pro-Abortion Nominee

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Journalist The White House has decided to re-nominate a virulent anti-Catholic, pro-abortion candidate who once referred to pregnant women as “fetal containers” and tried to strip the Church of its tax exempt status because of its pro-life position, to head the Office of Legal Council. The White House has announced that it is re-nominating Dawn Johnsen to the position after her nomination stalled last year and eventually expired due to lack of support in the Senate.  Johnsen, a law professor at Indiana University and former legal counsel for the pro-abortion group NARAL, is best known for her outrageous claims that pregnancy is a kind of slavery for women and for referring to pregnant women as “fetal containers." However, Bill Donohue of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights says Johnsen’s anti-Catholic record makes her even more of a problem for the president.   Dawn Johnsen "is not someone who simply takes issue with the Catholic Church's pro-life position: she wants to punish the Church," Donohue said in a Jan. 8 press release. “In the late 1980s, she joined a cadre of anti-Catholics to strip the Catholic Church of its tax exempt status. The charge? The Church was guilty of violating IRS strictures because it took a strong pro-life position. The lawsuit failed,” Donohue explained.  The person who spearheaded this assault on the Church was Lawrence Lader, co-founder of NARAL with Dr. Bernard Nathanson, the abortionist who later converted to Catholicism. Nathanson revealed that Lader liked to refer to the Catholic Church as “our favorite whipping boy” maintaining that his goal was to “bring the Catholic hierarchy out where we can fight them. That’s the real enemy.” This took place during the late 1960s. Twenty years later, Lader published a vicious book assailing the Catholic Church, and it was at this time that he launched his bid—assisted by Johnsen—to break the Church. “This is who Dawn Johnsen is,” Donohue says. “She is a person who is so fueled with hatred of the Catholic Church that she would like to destroy it.” Having failed to secure her appointment last year, Obama has decided to renominate her and a recent flip-flop by Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) may give her the 60th vote she needs to pass the Senate. “Most of the critics of Dawn Johnsen focus on her strong pro-abortion record,” Donohue says. “While that is disturbing, a pro-abortion president can be expected to staff his administration with such persons, and no one doubts President Obama’s position on this subject. But it is an entirely different matter when a president selects bigots to work for him.” If confirmed, Johnsen will serve as counsel to the Attorney General on some of the thorniest legal issues of our time. "Johnsen is not the first anti-Catholic chosen by Obama,” Donohue said, “but she is by far the most extreme and most dangerous.” Contact your senators at and urge strong opposition to the Johnsen nomination. © All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly®/Women of Grace®