(JTA) — Alabama state lawmakers drew comparisons between the Holocaust and abortion in bills introduced earlier this month.
Sen. Greg Albritton and Rep. Terri Collins, both Republicans, introduced matching bills in the State Senate and House of Representatives to ban abortion except when necessary “to prevent a serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother.”
Both bills compare abortion to the Holocaust, as well as other genocides and violent acts.
The legislation notes that 6 million Jews were killed by the Nazis, as well as the number of people killed in Soviet prisons under Joseph Stalin, during China’s “Great Leap Forward” campaign, and in the Cambodian and Rwandan genocides.
“By comparison, more than 50 million babies have been aborted in the United States since the Roe decision in 1973, more than three times the number who were killed in German death camps, Chinese purges, Stalin’s gulags, Cambodian killing fields, and the Rwandan genocide combined,” it says, invoking the landmark abortion rights case Roe v. Wade.
The Anti-Defamation League called the comparison “totally out of bounds.”
“It belittles the memory of the six million Jews and millions of others who were murdered at the hands of the Nazis and misappropriates a profoundly tragic historical event for political purposes,” ADL spokesman Jake Hyman said in a statement Tuesday.
The ADL also sent a letter to the Alabama House Health Committee earlier this month asking its chair to oppose the bill “because it contains language that is offensive to the Jewish Community and it infringes on Alabamians’ religious freedom.”
Rabbi Hara Person, the incoming chief executive of Reform movement’s Central Conference of American Rabbis, also denounced the comparison in a statement to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
“Using the atrocities of the Holocaust to restrict abortion care is not only deeply inappropriate and hurtful to Jews everywhere, it is profoundly insulting to patients who need this care and the providers who offer it,” Person wrote.