Former Iowa Republican Representative Steve King sparked anger online after he suggested it's better to be in slavery than aborted because at least slaves get to enjoy the sight of a sunset at the end of the day.
Writing on Twitter, King said he spent Juneteenth, a federal holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved Blacks in the United States, "all day in the hot sun hoeing and pulling weeds and thinking about what it would have been like to have been a slave."
King added his thought process led him to wonder "what it would be like to be an aborted baby" and and concluded that unlike an aborted baby, he—and slaves—"got to see the sunrise and sunset."
Slavery was in fact a brutal legal institution, comprising the enslavement of Blacks who were kidnapped from their homes and families and forced to reside in a foreign land where they served as the economic backbone of the American South.
The treatment of slaves in the United States varied widely depending on conditions, time, and place, but in general it was brutal, especially on plantations. Whippings and rape were routine. The asymmetrical power dynamics between enslaved Blacks and White slaveowners gave Whites both the de facto and de jure freedoms to bend their property to their will.
King's statement comes as the nation continues to reel from the news that a leaked draft opinion indicated the Supreme Court's ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization will move to strike down Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark decision that protects a person's right to choose reproductive healthcare without excessive government restriction.
A final ruling is expected in the coming days if not weeks and legal experts largely agree that the protections and freedoms outlined in Roe will be considerably undercut.
King is also known for making overtly racist statements and has courted controversy for his White nationalist views.
He made headlines in 2019 after he questioned how terms such as "White nationalist" and "White supremacist" became offensive in the United States.
He was also criticized the year before after he defended his association with Austria's Freedom Party, a group founded by a former Nazi SS officer and whose current leader was active in neo-Nazi circles and has even aligned himself with the authoritarian government of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who once declared that "Mixing cultures will not lead to a higher quality of life but a lower one."
King was swiftly criticized for his remarks.
King isn't the only prominent Republican to make an absurd comparison on the matter of abortion.
Last month, Montana Republican Senator Steve Daines was criticized after he compared human pregnancy to protections for sea turtle and eagle eggs during a speech in which he attempted to justify not protecting women's reproductive rights.