Footage Surfaces of Illinois Candidate for Governor Comparing Abortion to the Holocaust

The Republican candidate for Gov of Illinois, Darren Bailey, has been criticized after footage surfaced of him comparing abortion to the Holocaust in 2017.

In a video livestreamed by the Facebook page for his election campaign on October 12, 2017, at around the six-minute mark, Bailey said:

“I believe that abortion is one of the greatest atrocities of our day and I believe it’s one of the greatest atrocities probably forever. The attempted extermination of the Jews of World War Two doesn’t even compare on a shadow of the life that has been lost with abortion since its legalization.”

At the time, Bailey was running to be a member of the Illinois House of Representatives. He won the election, and in June 2022 won the Republican nomination for governor of Illinois. The video was uncovered by Jewish-American media outlet Forward on August 1.

The Midwest chapter of the Anti-Defamation League criticized his comments saying: “The Holocaust and abortion are not the same. These types of comments have no place in public discourse. They are deeply offensive and do an incredible disservice to the millions of Jews and other innocent victims killed by the Nazis.”

In the video, Bailey is discussing House Bill 40, which went into effect in 2018 and allows patients to use Medicaid or state health insurance to pay to terminate pregnancies for any reason, according to local media. Credit: Darren Bailey via Storyful

Video transcript

DARREN BAILEY: Hi, friends. My name is Darren Bailey. I am running for state representative for the 109th district. I'm running against David Rice. So he is-- if you're familiar with that, then I'm going to be asking for your vote and support.

I want to come to you this evening and talk to you about something that's very near and dear to my heart. As many of you know, two weeks ago, Governor Rauner signed House Bill 40. And this legislation opened the door to fund all abortions in the state of Illinois, for absolutely any reason. So to fund them meaning our taxpayer dollars.

So not only does this go against many of our morals and beliefs that-- and protection, and desire to protect the unborn, but where we're at right now as a state and the financial crisis that we're in, shortly after this bill was signed, it was proposed and thought that possibly up to $1.8 to $20 million might be spent for these procedures of taxpayer money. Since then, the number has risen to possibly $20 million to $80 million. And I just-- I find that hard to fathom, hard to believe, hard to reason why anyone would desire to do that.

It's also proposed that this will open the door to up to 12,000 additional abortions a year. So boy, being an Illinois citizen the last few years, the last several years, it's just-- it's sad that Illinois used to be known for the greatness of agriculture, used to be known for our transportation hubs, and used to be known for our natural resources all across the state. We have some beautiful parks and beautiful recreation areas. And now, Illinois is known for corruption, waste, and taxpayer-funded abortion. That disappoints me. It disheartens me. It saddens me.

Something else I want to make you aware of that you can be paying attention to, I am refusing to take any support of any kind from our current leadership, from the governor. One of the things that-- when I initially began to run and talk to my opponent, I was told just to kind of beware because he has the full support of the governor. As you well know right now, that's perfectly fine with me. You also may be aware that the governor evidently has the full support of my opponent, because at the Olney Republican Day barbecue held this past Saturday and at the parade in Enfield, the Mule Days, which we participated in, his supporters were actively gaining signatures for both himself and the governor.

So I want you to know that morality will always trump everything else with me. You could throw a bill down in front of me that would say, if we sign it, somehow tomorrow the state could be a billion dollars in the black. But if we see that there is anything morally wrong with that, such as any issues with abortion, with me, the line is drawn.

And I will not waver on my convictions and my beliefs. So I just want to reassure you that I am pro-life, and I'm not going to back down on these issues of life. And I would consider-- and I would ask from here on out for my opponent to do the same, because if we're going to create change, we're going to make a difference, we have to stand for something.

I want to share with you from Psalm 139 verses 13 through 16 why I believe what I believe. This is what it says from God's word. "For you created my inmost being. You met me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful. I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."

This first talks about life. It talks about a life that is conceived in the womb. It talks about life before entering into the world. It talks about why life is so important. And to me, it proves that life certainly begins at conception. I love that verse 16, "your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."

God knows when we're created, when we're conceived. Even before that, he knows he has plans for us. And I believe that abortion is one of the greatest atrocities of our day, and I believe it's one of the greatest atrocities probably forever. The-- you know, the attempted extermination of the Jews of World War II, it doesn't even compare on a shadow of the life that has been lost with abortion since its legalization.

Two days ago-- I want to give you something else to consider. Two days ago, the Department of Health and Human Services published a draft strategic plan. This is what they called it. And it's to last from 2018 to 2022. And it contains some very controversial language. And I want to share that with you. You can find this. The National Review has published this. And David Barton with WallBuilders has also shown this. And you can probably find this on American Family-- Illinois Family Institute, IFI, as well.

So this is the mission of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, or HHS. "The mission of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, HHS, is to enhance the health and well-being of Americans by providing for effective health and human services and by fostering sound, sustained advances in the sciences underlying medicine, public health, and social services. Organizational structure of HHS accomplished its mission through programs and initiatives that cover a wide spectrum of activities."

Here's the controversial part. "Serving and protecting Americans at every stage of life, beginning at conception." I think that's absolutely wonderful, that someone foresought this and has put this into print, and that apparently our United States government will be adopting this. Unfortunately, here in Illinois, we are completely out of touch with now what our United States government policy is going to be. Our leaders here in Illinois have decided that it's OK to have-- to spend our taxpayer funds for abortion.

HB 40 here in Illinois is the law. One of the most basic things that we, as voters, can do is stand up to elect people who share our values. And that's something that I'm asking you to do. If you agree, if you believe in what we're talking about, if you believe that it's time for a change, if you believe that Illinois needs to be on a new direction, like our page. Share this message.

If you are listening right now, maybe you're in another district. And I have had the wonderful privilege of meeting several other candidates running for both House and Senate. And they share a lot of like-minded values. It's pretty awesome. So if you are in one of those districts, connect with your possible candidate. Find out how they believe, and get involved in their Facebook pages and their message and their volunteer activities. Spread this word and desire to create change.

I was also reading this afternoon, there's a publication called Capitol Fax. And the gentleman's name is Rich Miller. And he writes a lot of detailed information about the ongoings of Springfield. And I read this article out of the Wayne County Press. And towards the end of it, he suggested, he was showing the comparison of all of the representatives and the senators that have already stepped down, many of which, most of which passed the tax hike on our latest state budget. So and then he was also contrasting that with those who didn't. And I believe every one right now has a contested race.

And interestingly enough, as he wound it up, he said, well, maybe this is the best thing for the state of Illinois. And-- but he was supposing that it wouldn't happen that the newcomers might come and not be able to create the kind of influence that is needed. And I'm here to assure you that myself and the many others that I have met and befriended over the last several weeks do indeed plan on creating that kind of change. So I'd appreciate-- we'd appreciate your prayers and your support in this endeavor.

As I said earlier, I will not compromise on matters of life. This is my commitment to you and to the voters. Thank you so much for your time. Please, please spread this message. Spread it verbally. Spread it through Facebook. I'm going to give you my contact information. Again, my name is Darren, D-A-R-R-E-N, Bailey, B-A-I-L-E-Y. I know many of you are maybe watching right now. Please share and make sure that, when people look us up, they look up Darren Bailey for State Representative 109.

My email is My personal cell is 618-919-1617. Today, we are setting up here in the former Potter Shed, which is going to become the campaign headquarters as we proceed through March 20th. I'm going to be reminding you a lot, too, March 20th, the primary that's going to be coming up.

Historically, the way things are stacking up right now, there's not a lot of people running against others, so sometimes that means that there's not a lot of voters that show up. So I'm going to be asking you to keep this message fresh, to get out and vote to create change because the future of our state, our future is at stake. We have to have change. We have to have it now.

So thank you very much for tuning in. Thanks for your time. Please reach out with your comments, your questions. If you want to know more about what I think on different items or if you want to share your concerns with me, please reach out, because after the March 20th primary, I'm going to be doing some serious educating, and I'm going to go to Springfield January 18th, and I'm going to be ready. So thank you very much, and have a good evening.

- And one last thing before we wrap things up here I wanted to say. If you plan on volunteering or helping out, we are showing some of our promotional items. We will have these really nice cute baseball tees here. And you can see we have magnets, bags, different cups, balls. So again, we just really appreciate you guys and helping us get the word out there for Darren. Thank you.