Michigan Republican Refuses to Apologize for Comparing ‘Scourge’ of Abortion to Slavery


Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) refuses to back down from comments he made comparing the “scourge” of abortion to slavery.

Shirkey made the remarks during an interview on Radio Free Hillsdale with Scot Bertman last week and posted a clip of the interview to his YouTube page.

“I believe the rampant acceptance of unfiltered and unregulated abortion, or frankly allowing abortion to occur at all, is the scourge of our country now today,” he said. “In my mind, it’s comparable—and people are going to be very upset when I say this—but it is comparable to the scourge we endured when we still had slavery in this country. It is no less a scourge today than slavery was then.”

A spokesperson told Michigan Advance that Shirkey stands by his comments, but clarified that he wasn’t comparing the abortion procedure itself to slavery.

“Senator Shirkey believes there is no room for compromise on the issue of abortion and that the fervor from those on both sides of the issue has the potential to be destructive to our country,” spokesperson Amber McCann said.

State Sen. Erika Geiss (D-Taylor) called Shirkey’s comments “incredibly insensitive” and said it’s wrong to compare anything to the “atrocities of slavery,” according to the Associated Press.

Shirkey’s comments were made shortly after Democrats introduced their Reproductive Health Act, which would repeal a number of restrictions on abortions in the state. The bill would repeal abortion waiting periods, restrictions on telemedicine, the partial-birth abortion ban, and many regulations on abortion facilities.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer spoke at an October press conference where the bill was unveiled and promised to veto any Republican bills limiting abortion.

“It’s no surprise that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wants to follow New York’s lead and allow unlimited abortion-on-demand in Michigan,” Michigan Right to Life President Barbara Listing said in a statement. “We know most Michiganders do not support secret teen abortions, unregulated medical facilities, or abortions up to the point of birth.”

McCann told the media Shirkey won’t “have much interest in discussing” the pro-choice bill and said it won’t travel far in the Republican-controlled Senate.

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Mike Shirkey” by Mike Shirkey. Background Photo “Minnesota Senate Chamber” by Steve & Christine. CC BY 2.0.






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