INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council is calling for an apology from Sen. Michael Young.
At issue are remarks the Republican lawmaker made on July 28 while debating the abortion ban bill.
"And Senator Walker. You know, I didn't pass the Sunday school test on your question on that one. That's fine. But you know, it was our Creator who took that life. And what he said clearly was this: He didn't give us the right to kill a baby in the womb. He did not give that to us. He never said we could. He is the decider of that issue. And when we do it, what was the commandment? 'Thou shalt not kill,' our Lord said.
And I just want to say one other thing I was a little disturbed by: I made it clear in my opening statement, I never raised religion one time, in my opening statement, not once, because I wanted to stay away from it. Because we always get banged up, 'I'm using my religion, I'm using my religion,' and I stayed away from it. But how many people got up at the mic today and use religion for an excuse to have an abortion? It seems to me, we can't use our religion to protect life, but they can use their religious beliefs to kill life. Some religions believe in murder for adultery, if we're to accept that the other religious people have the right to their religious beliefs to do something. Are we going to accept religious beliefs of some people who think we should kill people for adultery? Do we want to be able to say, our religious beliefs say if you steal something, we cut off your hand, or poke out their eyes. We don't do that. We're not going to use those religious beliefs to pass our laws on this. These are the times that try our souls.
These are difficult questions. And Senator Becker, I told her, 'I love you.' I love everybody in this room, everybody, because I'm commanded to do that. Sometimes, I might get upset, especially with Senator Taylor, but I still love him. We're friends. But, guys, we can't do this. Exceptions, equal death for unborn innocent children. That's what exceptions.
So, I think I covered everything I need to try to some of the things that were brought up. And I don't do this lightly. I know I'm going to be judged. And I'll be judged in the election. But I do know this. I had to go against every (unintelligible) in my body. I had to give up so much that I love and believe in to bring this amendment. But I'll tell you what, I was willing and prepared to do that because I think it's the right thing to do. And all I ask anybody here tonight to do and especially 24 members on this side of the room, who I know where you believe and what you fought for and what you've defended. Stand up with courage and conviction and save these baby's lives. With that, I would sincerely ask for your consideration for this bill. Thank you."
The Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council released a statement on social media in response to Young's remarks. It said:
The Indianapolis JCRC condemns Senator Michael Young’s remarks on the Indiana Senate floor last week that appeared to equate Judaism’s views on reproductive rights with condoning murder. Judaism views the preservation of life as paramount; while a fetus has the potential for life, such potential never supersedes the life of the pregnant woman. While we have differences of opinion on reproductive rights, we reject Senator Young’s characterization of our religious beliefs. We call on the Senator to immediately retract his statement and issue an apology.
13News reached out to Young's office for a response to the request for an apology over his remarks and how the Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council viewed them as offensive. Young's office only responded, "Sen. Young has no further comment."
Earlier in the special session, Young chose to leave the Republican caucus.
Young has served in the state legislature for 36 years. He gives up a committee chairmanship by leaving the caucus.
He describes himself as a conservative pro-life Republican and was not in favor of the exceptions provided in the abortion ban bill. Those exceptions include rape and incest.