Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Johnsen's Pro-Abortion Rationale Bizarre

Written by  Ann Shibler

President Obama’s nominee to head the Office of Legal Counsel, Yale-educated Dawn Johnsen, was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 19, after a hearing that lacked true intensive questioning. She awaits a full Senate vote before leading the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel as the assistant attorney general.

The Senate Judiciary Committee vote was, predictably, split down party lines at 11-7, with Senator Arlen Specter, (R-Pa.) abstaining, wishing, he said, to meet and speak with her further on parts of her record that he finds “difficult to understand.”

Johnsen has been only too clear about where her extremist pro-abortion sympathies and philosophy lie. She once served as legal director for the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL), the most proactive, abortion-promoting organization in the nation. Before NARAL, she worked in the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project, and also served in the Department of Justice under President Clinton.

In a 1989 case, Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, Johnsen, in footnote 23 of a filed brief, stated:

Statutes that curtail [a woman’s] abortion choice are disturbingly suggestive of involuntary servitude, prohibited by the Thirteenth Amendment, in that forced pregnancy requires a woman to provide continuous physical service to the fetus in order to further the state’s asserted interest.

In another portion of the brief she added: "The woman is constantly aware for nine months that her body is not wholly her own; the state has conscripted her body for its own ends.... [Abortion restrictions] reduce pregnant women to no more than fetal containers."

During the judiciary committee hearing in an exchange with Specter broadcast via a webcast, while admitting that he himself is pro-abortion, he commented that her view of pregnancy violating the Thirteenth Amendment against slavery was “beyond the pale,” and wanted to know if she still stood by that. She responded:

Uh — In footnote 23, I found, makes, um, um, a suggestion that there may be an analogy, um, between, not what the article said, pregnancy, which I’ve been blessed with twice and have two wonderful sons, but forced childbirth. This is a brief that I filed arguing that the right to privacy protects, um the right of women and their families to make these choices and that Roe v. Wade should be upheld, which is in 1989. I made no Thirteenth Amendment argument. I can state categorically: I do not believe the Thirteenth Amendment is relevant at all. It was a straight Fourteenth Amendment argument.

Bizarrely, she equates pregnancy with slavery -— and then like most politicians backpedals when caught in her own words. But she wrote other equally outrageous things in the same brief, leaving no doubt about her very biased outlook for someone who would, as legal counsel, be providing authoritative legal advice to the president’s office and other executive branch agencies. How can one such as she honestly and objectively fulfill such an office when she spouts:

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 the pedestrians “consent” to being struck by drunk drivers.

This also from the amicus brief she authored in Webster v. Reproductive Health Services. She added, “The experience [of abortion] is no longer traumatic; the response of most women to the experience is relief.”

Spoken like a true elitist, totally out of step with natural law, mainstream America, motherhood, the Constitution, and maybe even baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie. But filled with enough disdain and disregard for human life that the office of legal counsel would become under her influence an office of illogic based on personal twisted legal analysis.

Johnsen is a promoter of an aggressive liberal pro-abort agenda that has nothing to do with reality or the Constitution, but everything to do with Obama’s redefining of what government is — and will be.