Kentucky Lawmaker Apologizes After 'Bizarre, Anti-Semitic Rant' About Abortion Pill

GOP state Rep. Danny Bentley talked about Jewish women's sex lives and said falsely that an abortion pill was created during the Holocaust.

A Kentucky Republican has apologized for bizarre and false comments he made about Jewish women and the Holocaust on Wednesday during a debate over anti-abortion legislation.

State Rep. Danny Bentley, a pharmacist from Russell, was speaking about legislation to restrict the dispensing of abortion pills when he said: “Did you know that a Jewish woman has less cancer of the cervix than any other race in this country or this world? And why is that? Because the Jewish women only have one sex partner.”

“They don’t have multiple sex partners. To say that the Jewish people approve of this drug now is wrong,” he said, according to The Louisville Courier-Journal.

He also claimed falsely that RU-486, or mifepristone, one of two pills taken to terminate a pregnancy, was developed by a Jewish person during World War II and was called Zyklon B, the gas used to kill Jews in the Holocaust.

“Why would they do it? Because they’re making money on it,” he said.

Mifepristone was developed in the 1980s.

His comments were condemned by multiple Jewish groups.

“On Wednesday, during a hearing on women’s reproductive choice, Rep. Danny Bentley went on a bizarre, anti-Semitic rant that included outlandish claims about the sex lives of Jewish women and the outrageous assertion that Jews created the ‘abortion pill’ during the Holocaust to profit financially,” according to a joint statement from the American Jewish Committee, the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Louisville and the National Council of Jewish Women’s Louisville Section.

It called on all elected officials to forcefully denounce antisemitism and all forms of bigotry.

In a statement to the Courier-Journal, Bentley said he “meant absolutely no harm in my comments today and sincerely apologize for any they caused” and said that he stood with the Jewish community against hatred.

“My intention was to speak as a pharmacist to the history of RU-486 and respond to a proposed amendment. I clearly should have been more sensitive with my comments.”

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) said Thursday that there is “no place for antisemitism in Kentucky” in a Twitter statement.

It comes after another antisemitic incident in the state legislature last month that was also denounced by the American Jewish Committee. State Rep. Walker Thomas and Sen. Rick Girdler, both Republicans, apologized after using the antisemitic phrase “Jew them down” when discussing a state lease agreement in the legislature.

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