Newly-elected Speaker of the House Rep. Mike Johnson compared abortion to the Holocaust in 2005 and claimed “the prevailing judicial philosophy” that provided for a constitutional right to abortion “is no different than Hitler’s.”
CBS News first reported on the op-ed uncovered by Documented.
Johnson’s April 2005 opinion piece, published in Louisiana’s Shreveport Times, sought to tie abortion to a high profile legal battle over end of life care for Terri Schiavo.
“Because the life of an unborn child (or a disabled Terri Shiavo, or the elderly and infirm) may be difficult or inconvenient or even costly to society now means it can be terminated,” Johnson wrote in The Times.
“This disregard for life has been fostered by the courts. During business hours today, 4,500 innocent American children will be killed. It is a holocaust that has been repeated every day for 32 years, since 1973's Roe v. Wade. Nearly 45 million babies have been sacrificed in the name of "personal choice." That staggering number represents somewhere between one-half and one-third of my entire generation.”
Johnson made a stunning extrapolation about the impact of Roe, claiming that it has limited people’s choices in marital partners, led to Social Security becoming insolvent, and contributed to a “culture of death” where “kids shoot other kids because they’ve learned life has no real value.”
“The magnitude of this is hard to imagine,” Johnson continued in the editorial. “If you graduated from high school in the last three decades, your class should have been twice as large as it was. Your choices in marital partners have been limited by half. Social Security wouldn't be in a crisis with all those able workers. And we wouldn't have this ‘culture of death,’ where euthanasia has become all the rage, where kids shoot other kids because they've learned that life has no real value, and the Terri Schiavos of the world can be sentenced to starvation. It is a shocking paradox that we live in.”
Johnson authored the editorial during his time as an attorney for the Christian-right legal organization Alliance Defense Fund, the former name of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). Johnson worked for ADF as an attorney from 2002 to 2010.
The editorial is one of several that Johnson authored in his local Shreveport, Louisiana newspaper during his time at ADF and highlighted by CNN and other news organizations in recent days. According to the reporting, Johnson wrote in support of the criminalization of gay sex and ADF wrote an amicus brief supporting criminalizing gay sex.
Johnson also reprised the false claim connecting abortion to mass shootings in a 2015 interview with reporter Irin Carmon.