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Senator Mark Kirk Compares Defending Women's Rights to Defending Slavery

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Bill Clark/Getty

Senator Mark Kirk had another foot-in-mouth moment in the Capitol.

The Republican lawmaker, 55, voiced his frustration to reporters Tuesday regarding Senate Democrats who are standing against a bipartisan anti-sex trafficking bill due to an anti-abortion provision. But Kirk may have taken his irritation too far when he compared defending the rights of women to defending slavery.

“They are making the same mistake that Democrats made in the 1850s when they defended slavery,” Kirk told members of the press, referring to the Democrats fighting against the anti-abortion provision that was snuck into the bill. His statements were quickly picked up by political blog Roll Call.

“My wish is that we hadn’t junked that bill up with abortion politics,” Kirk said. “Let’s just stand for the principle that we are all against slavery and keep the bill clean of extraneous provisions.”

This is not the first time the Illinois senator – who made headlines for bringing a young stroke survivor to President Barack Obama‘s State of the Union Address in January – has been criticized for his questionable political commentary.

He raised eyebrows in February after telling Politico in a searing interview that Republicans should “build a number of coffins outside each Democratic office” in the event of an attack during the pending Department of Homeland Security shutdown last month. “You are responsible for these dead Americans,” he added, referring to Senate Democrats again.

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