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Kentucky politician sparks outrage with comments on Jewish women’s sex in error-laden argument against abortion

The GOP lawmaker suggested an abortion pill was originally used by Nazis to kill Jewish people in concentration camps

Graig Graziosi
Thursday 03 March 2022 22:24 GMT
Related video: Rep. Maria Salazar makes bizarre claim that all socialists are anti-Semitic

A Republican lawmaker from Kentucky faced swift backlash after he made comments about Jewish women and the Holocaust during a debate about anti-abortion legislation.

Representative Danny Bentley was discussing Mifepristone, pills that are used to induce abortion, and claimed falsely that they were developed during World War II under the name Zyklon B, which was the gas used to kill Jewish people at concentration camps during the Holocaust.

He also claimed that the individual "who developed [the pills] was a Jew," according to the Courier Journal. He suggested that the pills were created "because [Jewish people are] making money on it."

The comments drew criticism from the Jewish community, who denounced Mr Bentley as an antisemite.

The blowback forced him to apologise, saying that he "meant absolutely no harm" by comparing abortion pills to Nazi death gas.

"Last week we received a heartbreakingly sad reminder that anti-Semitism still exists in our society and I apologize if my comments today caused similar pain or any doubt that I stand with the Jewish Community against hatred," he said. "My intention was to speak as a pharmacist to the history of RU-486 and respond to a proposed amendment. I clearly should have been more sensitive with my comments."

He also made bizarre statements about the sex lives of Jewish women during the discussion.

Earlier in the debate, Democrat Representative Mary Lou Marizan introduced a floor amendment to allow Jewish women exemption from the restrictive abortion bill under debate. She reasoned that because Jewish people do not believe life begins at conception, they should not be forced to comply with the restrictions.

That prompted Mr Bentley to discuss Jewish women's sexual habits "since we brought up the Hebrew family today."

“Did you know that a Jewish woman has less cancer of the cervix than any other race in this country or this world?” Mr Bentley asked. “And why is that? Because the Jewish women only have one sex partner… They don't have multiple sex partners. To say that the Jewish people approve of this drug now is wrong.”

Senator Karen Berg, a Democrat and the Kentucky legislature's only Jewish member, was incensed by Mr Bentley's comments and noted his inaccuracies after the debate.

She said that while he was correct that the abortion pill was developed by a Jewish person, that creation did not occur until the 198s, long after World War II ended.

“The first clinical trials on this drug has nothing to do with World War II [and] has nothing to do with the Holocaust,” she said. “That the developer was indeed of Jewish descent ... what difference does that make? And why is that being brought up on the floor?”

The American Jewish Committee, the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Louisville, and the National Council of Jewish Women's Louisville Section issued a joint rebuke of Mr Bentley's comments.

"On Wednesday, during a hearing on women’s reproductive choice, Rep. Danny Bentley went on a bizarre, anti-Semitic rant that included outlandish claims about the sex lives of Jewish women and the outrageous assertion that Jews created the 'abortion pill' during the Holocaust to profit financially," the joint statement said. "We call on all elected officials and community partners to forcefully denounce anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, especially when they emanate from officials elected to serve the people of the Commonwealth."

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