By MARC McDONALD
If you browse an anti-abortion Web site, or listen to an anti-abortion activist these days, you'll encounter plenty of references to Nazi Germany.
For example, on Monday, Randall Terry, founder of the Operation Rescue said: "I believe George Tiller was one of the most evil men on the planet; every bit as vile as the Nazi war criminals who were hunted down, tried, and sentenced after they participated in the 'legal' murder of the Jews that fell into their hands."
Terry is hardly alone in his extremist views. For example, Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly often demonized slain doctor George Tiller and said he was guilty Of "Nazi stuff."
Which raises a question: where did Hitler himself stand on abortion? Actually, he opposed it.
In fact, in their first year of power, in 1933, the Nazis outlawed abortion.
As Gloria Steinem pointed out in 1982, a flaw "in the fervent condemnations of pro-choice advocates as Nazis is that Hitler himself, and the Nazi doctrine he created, were unequivocally opposed to any individual right to abortion."
Steinem notes: "Under Hitler, choosing abortion became sabotage; a crime punishable by hard labor for the woman and a possible death penalty for the abortionist."
Hmmm, let me see: a "death penalty for the abortionist."
Some things really haven't changed much since 1933. Back then, it was the Nazis condemning "abortionists" to death. Today, it's the extremist, hate-filled evangelical "Christian" bigots whose twisted rhetoric is encouraging violence against doctors who practice abortion.