(AP)

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback compares abortion to slavery

Brownback made the offensive comparison during his State of the State remarks



Katie McDonough
January 17, 2014 3:42AM (UTC)

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback on Wednesday night compared the anti-abortion movement in Wichita (home of Operation Rescue and where George Tiller was murdered in 2009 by an anti-abortion activist) to the abolitionist movement.

"The chains of bondage of our brothers rubbed our skin and our hearts raw until we could stand it no more and erupted into `Bleeding Kansas,'" Brownback said during his State of the State address, referring to a bloody conflict over slavery in the Kansas territory. "The Summer of Mercy sprung forth in Kansas as we could no longer tolerate the death of innocent children.”

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As the Associated Press notes, the "Summer of Mercy" demonstrations in 1991 "brought thousands of anti-abortion protesters to Wichita and put a spotlight on Tiller, who was among a handful of U.S. physicians performing abortions in the final weeks of pregnancies."

Peter Brownlie, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, called Brownback's comparison "insensitive," and noted that the Summer of Mercy protests began a cycle of extremism among anti-choice activists in Kansas and across the country, a very different outcome than a movement to end slavery.

“That event brought thousands of extremists into Kansas from around the country,” Brownlie said.

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Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Abortion Gop Racism Republicans Sam Brownback Slavery

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