Kansas State Sen. Steve Fitzgerald is under fire for comparing Planned Parenthood to the Nazi death camp Dachau, but he’s choosing to stand by his comments. According to The Associated Press, he’s actually taking it one step further by saying, “I think the Nazis ought to be incensed by the comparison.”
Fitzgerald is a well-known opponent of abortion, having supported legislation like a 2013 fetal personhood bill that defined life as beginning at fertilization, and required doctors to give patients false information about the dangers of abortion. One of his constituents, Ali Weinel of Prairie Village, Kansas, decided to channel her frustration about his politics into a good deed by donating $25 in her Fitzgerald's name to a local Planned Parenthood chapter. “I just was so angry and knew that the only way I could be less angry was if I made a difference. So that’s what I did,” she told The Kansas City Star.
The senator was less than pleased to receive news of a donation in his name and decided to send a letter to express his anger. “It was either send them that or ignore it,” Fitzgerald said in an interview with The Star. “I figured, I don’t want my name associated as a donation to Planned Parenthood, in my name, to go on undenounced by me.” The letter stated that “this as bad—or worse—than having one’s name associated with Dachau.” Approximately 28,000 people died in Dachau, the first of the Nazis’ concentration camps. It was also the site of many of their most gruesome medical experiments.
— PP Great Plains KS (@PPGreatPlainsKS) March 10, 2017
Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, was quick to condemn the senator’s language, telling The Star, “It’s this kind of inflammatory language that condones the type of behavior we see sometimes outside of women’s health centers...It’s really disturbing to me that this kind of rhetoric and language is considered acceptable.” Fortunately, Fitzgerald’s words may have backfired: Planned Parenthood Great Plains has already seen multiple new donations in his name.