Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos told a gathering of Christian conservatives that the anti-abortion movement was a great deal like Abraham Lincoln’s efforts to end slavery during the Civil War, in essence suggesting that to be pro-choice is just as morally wrong as being pro-slavery, HuffPost reports:
“Lincoln, ‘too, contended with the pro-choice arguments of his day. They suggested that a state’s choice to be slave or to be free had no moral question in it,’ DeVos said Wednesday at a dinner for Colorado Christian University, held at the Museum of the Bible in Washington. ‘Well, President Lincoln reminded those pro-choicers that is a vast portion of the American people that do not look upon that matter as being this very little thing. They look upon it as a vast moral evil.'”
DeVos then added:
“Lincoln was right about the slavery choice then, and he would be right about the life choice today. Because as it’s been said: Freedom is not about doing what we want. Freedom is about having the right to do what we ought.”
The education secretary went on to remark that she hopes to one day make abortion “unconstitutional” and “unthinkable.”
Those comments didn’t sit well with Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), who fired back at DeVos on Twitter:
As a Black woman & the Chair of the abortion access task force, I invite you to come by the Hill and say this to my face.
Would welcome the opportunity to educate you.
Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley https://t.co/Yx2EToUdLI
— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) January 24, 2020
And Dr. Megan Kate Nelson, a Civil War historian, also weighed in on the matter:
<stares in historian> https://t.co/7fty75Ywrr
— Dr. Megan Kate Nelson ? (@megankatenelson) January 24, 2020
Jamil Smith, a senior writer for Rolling Stone, noted that DeVos was twisting the legacy of Lincoln to serve her own selfish ends and “turn Abraham Lincoln into an avatar for the anti-abortion right.
“I say again: only slavery was slavery. This is utterly deranged, and she should resign.”
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