Office of Legal Council nominee criticized for ‘bizarre’ defenses of abortion

Dawn Johnsen
Dawn Johnsen

.- Dawn Johnsen, nominee to head the White House Office of Legal Counsel, faces criticism from a pro-life group for her opposition to the federal partial-birth abortion ban and her comments characterizing pregnant mothers as “inevitable losers in the contraceptive lottery” and comparing pregnancy to slavery or being hit by a drunk driver.

The Senate Judiciary Committee on March 19 approved Johnsen’s nomination by 11 to 7 for a full vote on the Senate floor.

The Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life group opposing her nomination, reports some of its 154,000 members have sent over 26,000 letters of opposition to their U.S. Senators.

“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,” said Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser.

The Susan B. Anthony list has voiced concerns about Johnsen’s pro-abortion rhetoric, especially as found in her amicus curiae brief in the case Webster v. Reproductive Health Services.

There, Johnsen said that abortion restrictions “reduce pregnant women to no more than fetal containers.”

Johnsen attacked arguments that pregnant women consent to their pregnancy, saying those “who are the inevitable losers in the contraceptive lottery no more 'consent' to pregnancy than pedestrians 'consent' to being struck by drunk drivers.”

She also said that the experience of abortion is “no longer traumatic” and claimed most women respond to an abortion with “relief.”

Dannenfelser responded to these comments, arguing:

“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.”

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