An Oklahoma pro-life lawmaker described abortion as worse than slavery Wednesday while defending a bill that would prohibit the killing of unborn babies in his state.

During an Oklahoma House Public Health Committee meeting, state Rep. Jim Olsen, R-Roland, compared the killing of unborn babies in abortions to slavery and other mass human rights abuses in history, KFOR reports.

“This is a cause of even greater significance,” Olsen said, according to Tulsa World. “If we believe that these are really living human beings in the womb of a woman, then this is absolutely worth doing, even if it takes a long time.”

Abortion is the biggest killer of human life in the United States. According to the Oklahoma Department of Health, there were 96,386 abortions in the state between 2002 and 2019. Since 1973, approximately 62 million unborn babies have been aborted in the U.S.

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The bill, which passed the committee in an 8-1 vote, would prohibit abortions by creating felony charges for doctors who abort unborn babies in Oklahoma.

Olsen’s remarks upset some Democrat lawmakers, including state Rep. Ajay Pittman, D-Oklahoma City.

“Just to clarify what you just said, you’re saying saving the lives of slaves or saving the lives of an unborn child is more important than saving the lives of slaves?” Pittman responded during the committee meeting.

Olsen replied: “The context that I was addressing that, none of us would like to be killed. None of us would like to be a slave. If I had my choice, I guess I’d be a slave. At least the slave has his life. Once your life is gone, it’s gone. And I’m not minimizing slavery. I’m illustrating the terrible injustice that was finally, finally erased from Great Britain and almost eventually the entire world,” KOCO News 5 reports.

But Pittman was not satisfied by the answer. After the meeting, she told KFOR that Olsen’s remarks were “triggering” and “traumatizing.”

“It is completely insensitive to what we had to do to get here and what we have to do each and every day to fight for our constituents that look like us in the state of Oklahoma,” she said.

But Olsen stood by his comments, telling KFOR, “In the context of history in general, I did compare one evil to another and very frankly I make no apology for it.”

Afterward, the Oklahoma Democratic Party demanded that he apologize, Public Radio Tulsa reports.

“The cavalier usage of racist terms with no repercussions is exhausting,” Oklahoma Democratic Party Chair Alicia Andrews said in a statement. “Why they have to in their argument throw dirt on Black and brown people, I do not understand, but it has to stop. We have got to bring the Oklahoma legislature out of the Dark Ages.”

Abortions directly and intentionally kill unborn babies – unique, living human beings with their own DNA. Most abortions are done after the unborn baby already has a detectable heartbeat, and almost all abortions are purely elective.

In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court took away the states’ ability to protect unborn babies from abortion under Roe v. Wade, and instead forced states to legalize abortion on demand. Roe made the United States one of only seven countries in the world that allows elective abortions after 20 weeks.

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