Oklahoma House representative makes controversial comparison of abortion to slavery

THE CITY OF OKLAHOMA (KFOR) –A member of Oklahoma House was criticized Wednesday for making a comment that some say is race-insensitive, comparing abortion to slavery.

Representative Jim Olsen presented his bill, SB 612, which would abolish abortion by making it a crime for doctors to perform the surgery, to the House public health committee.

In his argument, he compared the struggle to abolish abortion to a long one-man campaign to abolish slavery in Britain.

“If we think they’re really human beings alive in a woman’s womb, then it’s definitely worth doing, even if it takes a long time,” Olsen said.

But some in the room missed the message, especially Rep. Ajay Pittman.

“Just to clarify what you just said, are you saying that saving the lives of slaves or saving the life of an unborn child is more important than saving the lives of slaves?” Pittman asked in committee.

“The context in which I was speaking, none of us would want to be killed. None of us would like to be a slave. If I had a choice, I guess I would be a slave. At least the slave has his life. Once your life is gone, it’s gone, ”Olsen replied.

“This is the trigger. It’s traumatic. It’s hurtful, ”Pittman told KFOR afterwards. “It’s completely oblivious to what we had to do to get here and what we have to do every day to fight for our constituents who are like us in the state of Oklahoma.”

Olsen later doubled down on his remarks, insisting that they were in no way an endorsement of slavery.

“In the context of history in general, I have compared one evil to another and quite frankly, I make no apologies,” said Olsen.

Meanwhile, Pittman said it was just another indication that Oklahoma residents, even those in charge, need better training in racial and cultural sensitivity.

“You have every right to present this bill and explain why you are in favor of your policy, but when our colleagues are so culturally insensitive to members of their body, to members of the committee, that they would hesitate. not to compare abortion to slavery or to compare an unborn baby, an unborn child to a slave, it is disheartening and it says that we continue to back down in the state of Oklahoma ”, Pittman said.

The bill passed by the committee by an 8-1 vote. There would have been one more vote against if Pittman had not left the room after the exchange with Olsen.

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