New York State Senator Ruben Diaz (D-Bronx) compared abortion to the Holocaust during a lengthy rant on Tuesday against a piece of pro-choice legislation.
According to The New York Observer, Diaz wrote in an e-mail to his supporters that, “Hitler was pro-choice. He chose to send the Jews to Auschwitz. That was not their choice that was Hitler’s choice.”
“Murderers, assassins and criminals are pro-choice. They choose to put a gun to your head and take your life. That is not your choice. That is their choice,” he continued.
Mr. Diaz’s statement on abortion, which was part of his regular “What You Should Know” email newsletter series, was inspired by Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature considering the Reproductive Health Act, which would change state law to treat abortion as a public health issue rather than a criminal one and would guarantee women the right to have access to contraception or abortion care.
According to Mr. Diaz, if the Reproductive Health Act became law, it “will make abortion on demand a reality in the State of New York.”
Deputy Director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) chapter in New York, Etzion Neuer, told The New York Daily News that Diaz's invocation of Hitler in an abortion debate was "incredibly offensive" and marginalized the memories of the millions who perished in the Holocaust.
Diaz "crosses the line when he uses Hitler or the Holocaust to make his point,” Neuer said.
Diaz's comments come as many of his fellow state Democrats are pushing to pass The Reproductive Health Act.
“Right now, women in New York can only get late-term abortions if the pregnancy will likely kill them,” explains The Village Voice. “The RHA will extend this right to cases where a woman's life or health is at risk, or where the fetus has a fatal medical issue. The measure would also put into law New Yorkers' right to contraception -- as well as their right not to chose birth control.”
This is not the first time Diaz has compared abortion to the Holocaust. In 2005, the Anti-Defamation League asked Diaz to apologize for similar remarks.