‘Canada Is The Freest Country In The World’: Dem Rep Starts Shouting Match At House Judiciary Hearing

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UPDATE: This story has been updated to reflect comment from Republican Louisiana Rep. Mike Johnson.

Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee triggered a shouting match when he claimed Canada was the “freest” country in the world during a Thursday hearing of the House Judiciary Committee.

“Right now, Canada’s the freest country in the world,” Cohen said, citing abortion as one of the reasons. “There are a few other countries, along with Canada, that are more free than America when we cut women away for having the opportunity to get their families, their bodies, to be their choices.”


Republican Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana responded to the claim later in the hearing, which a Thursday hearing release called “What’s Next: The Threat to Individual Freedoms in a Post-Roe World.” The hearing was held after the Supreme Court upheld a Mississippi law banning most abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy, overturning Roe v. Wade. (RELATED: ‘What Other Judicial Outrage Must We Endure?’: Dems Call For Expanding SCOTUS After String Of Losses)

“Mr. Cohen is wrong, Canada is not the most free country in the world, young people,” Johnson said. “America is the greatest nation in the world. We are the most free, most successful, most powerful nation because finally now we have been — we’ve tried to live up to the ideals articulated in the Declaration of Independence, and finally now the Supreme Court after 50 years, nearly 50 years of an atrocity has brought us back to that truth.”

“Even good friends can make terrible arguments,” Johnson told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Rep. Cohen and other Democrats are simply wrong to imply a positive correlation between nations with maximum abortion and nations with maximum respect for individual freedoms. If that were true, the world would consider China and North Korea among its freest countries.”


Cohen immediately tried to interject, prompting Johnson to refuse to yield, and the two representatives exchanged claims that the other was “absurd” before Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York, the House Judiciary Committee chairman, gaveled the hearing to order, telling Cohen it was Johnson’s turn to speak.

“This hearing is absurd,” Johnson said. “The Democrat majority has called us here for this hearing entitled ‘The threat to individual freedoms in a post Roe world.’ Come on! The first inalienable individual freedom is the right to be born. It’s the right to life. We boldly declared that in our nation’s birth certificate.”

Cohen did not immediately respond to requests for comment from the DCNF.

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