Dawn Johnsen

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Dawn Johnsen (born August 14, 1961) is a lawyer who has been nominated by Barack Obama to head the Office of Legal Counsel in the United States Department of Justice. She has worked for the ACLU and NARAL, where she served as legal director from 1988 to 1993. Johnsen graduated from Yale University and is currently employed with Indiana University. She is a member of the liberal American Constitution Society for Law and Policy.

Radical Feminist

Conservatives have denounced Johnsen's views on abortion.[1]

  • Mothers are Losers
“The argument that women who become pregnant have in some sense consented to the pregnancy belies reality…and others who are the inevitable losers in the contraceptive lottery no more ‘consent’ to pregnancy than pedestrians ‘consent’ to being struck by drunk drivers.’”
  • Pregnant Women are Fetal Containers
“The woman is constantly aware for nine months that her body is not wholly her own: the state has conscripted her body for its own ends. Thus, abortion restrictions ‘reduce pregnant women to no more than fetal containers.’”
  • Pregnancy equals Slavery
“Statutes that curtail her abortion choice are disturbingly suggestive of involuntary servitude, prohibited by the Thirteenth Amendment, in that forced pregnancy requires a woman to provide continuous physical service to the fetus in order to further the state’s asserted interest.”
She has argued that the government should strip the Catholic Church and other religious denominations of their tax exempt status because of their pro-life advocacy.
  • FOCA
She was heavily involved in the authorship of the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), which would repeal every state and federal restriction on abortion and further enshrine abortion as the law of the land.
In a paper given to mark the 35th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, she said the first priority of the progressive agenda was to “focus on the courts as the vehicle of desired change.”

External links


  1. Comments by Obama Nominee Dawn Johnsen Susan B. Anthony