A Missouri lawmaker with a history of introducing controversial legislation and making inflammatory statements has once again stirred outrage, this time over his proposal to create an abortion exhibit next to the state’s slavery exhibit.
HB 1014, sponsored by Rep. Mike Moon (R-Ash Grove), would require the Missouri State Museum to include a display on the history of abortion. The exhibit would be required to be near the exhibit on slavery.
Moon told MissouriNet that the “Never Again Act” is intended to make an explicit comparison between abortion care and slavery.
“The constitution stated that they would only be three-fifths of a person,” Moon said. “Many people say an unborn developing human baby is not a person until he or she takes her first breath. So there is a comparison there that we’re actually stating that they’re not humans.”
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Moon said the title of the legislation is a direct reference to the Holocaust.
“If you’d go back to Germany, the German people probably would have thought, or at least Third Reich would have thought that gas chambers were a legal procedure. That doesn’t make it right,” Moon said.
Moon’s statement is at odds with the historical record.
The mass murder of millions of Jews and other marginalized people “was a state secret in Nazi Germany,” according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The public was deceived with a massive propaganda campaign, and the gas chambers where hidden from public view inside concentration camps.
As the end of World War II approached and the Allied forces advanced, the Nazis attempted to destroy the evidence of the Holocaust at the concentration camps. Records were destroyed and prisoners were evacuated. Nazis often went to great lengths to hide their atrocities.
Alison Dreith, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri, told Rewire in an email that it’s never appropriate to compare the Holocaust and slavery to anything other than the Holocaust and slavery.
“Unfortunately this isn’t the first time he has done this,” Dreith said. “Last year, in an attempt to outlaw abortion, most forms of birth control, IVF, and stem cell research, Moon said the same thing when he equated abortion to slavery, Dred Scott, and the Holocaust.”
Moon introduced a bill in 2016 that would establish the “All Lives Matter Act,” which stated that “personhood” begins at conception and “unborn children” are people with full constitutional rights. The bill is an example of what activists view as anti-choice legislators using the Black Lives Matter movement for their own anti-choice agenda.
Moon has introduced another bill this year to establish that “personhood” begins at conception—a deeply unpopular proposal that has been rejected by voters in many states. Moon, during a committee hearing on the measure, compared human sperm to tadpoles.
“Not only is Mike Moon obsessed about outlawing abortion in Missouri, instead of feeding hungry children, but he is also a racist and a bigot,” Dreith said. “The Missouri Republican Party needs to stand against Moon’s hate, yet they condone it by rapidly giving his bills hearings and attention by passing them out of the house.”
Dreith told Rewire that if there was an exhibit in the Missouri State Museum on the history of abortion, it should include the history of abortion that depicts the ways in which women’s body autonomy has been controlled by a white male power structure.
“A history where women died for the right to the health care they need, want, and deserve,” Dreith said. “We won’t go back, and we won’t be punished by Rep. Moon or anybody else.”