MI lawmaker criticized for comparing abortion, slavery

Michigan
FILE - In this Feb. 12, 2019 photo, state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, watches during the State of the State address at the state Capitol in Lansing, Mich. Michigan's Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. (AP Photo/Al Goldis, File)

FILE – In this Feb. 12, 2019 photo, state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, watches during the State of the State address at the state Capitol in Lansing, Mich. Michigan’s Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. (AP Photo/Al Goldis, File)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan Republican legislative leader is drawing criticism from state Democrats for likening abortion to the “scourge” of slavery.

State Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey told Hillsdale College’s radio station last week that allowing abortion is comparable to “the scourge we endured when we still had slavery in this country.”

Democratic state Sen. Erika Geiss says Shirkey’s remarks were “incredibly insensitive.” Geiss, who is black, said Tuesday it is wrong to compare anything to the “atrocities of slavery” and what it did to black families.

Shirkey’s spokeswoman says he believes abortion is an issue where there’s no middle ground and it has the potential to be as divisive for the country as slavery was. She says he was not referring to the abortion procedure itself as being analogous to slavery.

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