CNN on Tuesday aired interview clips from last year of House Speaker Mike Johnson calling abortion a “holocaust,” the latest example of the Louisiana Republican’s extreme views on reproductive rights.
The network’s investigation team, “KFile,” said it had reviewed more than 100 clips of interviews, speeches and public commentary by the recently elected speaker. In one of them, Johnson was featured on the Vince Conglianese Show in May 2022, where he said that abortion “is truly an American holocaust.”
“I mean, the reality is that Planned Parenthood and all these big abortion [providers], they set up their clinics in inner cities. They are, you know, they regard these people as easy prey,” he said on the Washington, D.C.-based radio program. “I mean, it’s true. This is what’s happening across the country now.”
In a separate interview, Johnson sat down with a conservative talk radio show on the day the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, rolling back federal protections for those seeking an abortion.
Johnson agreed with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion overturning Roe v. Wade. The conservative justice’s opinion suggested that rulings establishing gay and contraception rights “were demonstrably erroneous decisions.”
“There’s been some really bad law made. They’ve made a mess of our jurisprudence in this country for the last several decades. And maybe some of that needs to be cleaned up,” Johnson said on the “ToddCast” podcast. “And what Justice Thomas is calling for is not radical. In fact, it’s the opposite of that.”
A spokesperson for Johnson told CNN on Tuesday that the speaker “views the cases as settled law.”
Since coming under the spotlight due to his speakership, Johnson has faced intense backlash over his right-wing religious views that demonize abortion rights, LGBTQ+ rights and the separation of church and state. The evangelical Christian has earned an “A+” rating from Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, one of the biggest anti-abortion groups in the country.
Last month, the House Judiciary Committee released an undated clip of Johnson claiming at a hearing that Republicans would not need to make cuts to Social Security and Medicare if women were compelled to bring more “able-bodied workers” into the world.
Johnson’s record also includes voting for a national abortion ban, co-sponsoring a 20-week abortion ban and celebrating Louisiana’s abortion ban that carries criminal punishments of up to 10 years in prison.