Rep. Janice Hahn (D-Calif.) is calling on James Dobson, founder of the conservative Christian advocacy group Focus on the Family, to apologize for remarks he made during a May 1 National Day of Prayer event where he labeled President Barack Obama the “abortion president.”
“President Obama, before he was elected, made it very clear that he wanted to be the abortion president. He didn’t make any bones about it," Dobson said at the U.S. Capitol last Thursday. "This is something that he really was going to promote and support, and he has done that, and in a sense he is the abortion president."
Hahn, who walked out of the prayer event after Dobson’s comments, criticized the conservative evangelical for his “divisive” remarks in a letter to Dobson Wednesday.
“I think you owe the Members of Congress who took time out of their busy day to attend an apology,” Hahn, co-chair of the weekly congressional prayer breakfast, wrote. “That would be the first step in healing a wound that you inflicted with your disrespectful and inappropriate speech.”
Hahn also emphasized her own religious upbringing with missionary grandparents, recalling how she listened to Dobson’s conservative radio show "Focus on the Family" regularly as a young mother.
“I am a person of strong faith, which comes from my family -- including my grandparents who were missionaries in Japan,” Hahn explained before accusing Dobson of injecting his political agenda into a nonpartisan day of prayer.
“You also missed what the American public wants -- the end of partisan bickering and coming together for our great nation,” Hahn wrote. “We can always find things that divide us. It is harder -- but more rewarding -- to find common ground.”
After backlash from his National Prayer Day statements, Dobson appeared on Fox News’ “The Kelly File” on May 1 and dismissed Hahn’s criticisms by pointing to “standing ovations” during his speech as validation of his remarks.
"One person chose to walk out, as far as we know, one person, and that's what everybody keys on,” Dobson said. “But the people who were there were with me 100 percent because they also believe in the sanctity of human life."