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Mike Johnson Fact-Checked After Claiming He Believes In The 'Sanctity Of Every Human Life'

After Speaker Mike Johnson claimed to 'believe' in the 'sanctity of every life,' MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell fact-checked him with a blunt reminder.

Mike Johnson

Far-right House Speaker Mike Johnson was called out for claiming that he believes in the "sanctity of every life" after he has given contradictory statements about reproductive rights in the past.

MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell showed evidence of Johnson's hypocrisy by using his former statement on another issue against him.

O'Donnell shared an article about the Louisianna Representative struggling to articulate his stance on IVF during a speech on Thursday and wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

"He also believes in the death penalty."
"So, no, he doesn't 'believe in the sanctity of EVERY human life.'"

How someone can claim to believe in the "sanctity of every human life" but then also support state-sanctioned murder is a contradiction seldom addressed by "pro-life" politicians.

As for the heated discussion centering on in vitro fertilization (IVF), the conversation stems from the controversial Alabama Supreme Court ruling earlier this month declaring that "frozen embryos" qualify as people.

The state's decision sparked concern about the future of legally accessing fertility treatments in the U.S., specifically IVF, a reproductive treatment process on which many Americans who are unable to have children rely to raise a family.

On Thursday, a reporter had asked Johnson:

“On IVF, do you favor a bill to protect IVF and do you believe discarding embryos is murder?”

Johnson replied:

“Look, I believe in the sanctity of every human life. I always have. And because of that, I support IVF and its availability."
“If you look at the statistics, it’s really an amazing thing. Since the technology became available in I think the 70s, maybe the mid-70s, an estimated eight million births in the U.S. have been brought about because of that technology."

He continued:

“So it needs to be readily available, it needs to be something that every American supports, and it needs to be handled in an ethical manner.”
“I don’t think there’s a single person in the Republican conference who disagrees with that statement and there’s a lot of misunderstanding about it, but it’s something I think we ought to support.”

When the reporter asked whether Johnson supported any legislation to protect the right to IVF, he ended the press conference.

The New Republic pointed out that Johnson, along with many other Republican lawmakers, has long argued that life begins “from the moment of fertilization.”

The article stated:

"That’s the exact same logic the Alabama Supreme Court used when ruling that even embryos created through in-vitro fertilization are protected under the Wrongful Death of a Minor Act."

The media outlet also noted that Johnson used this logic to argue against most forms of reproductive rights, including contraception.

Johnson also joined 124 House Republicans in co-sponsoring the Life at Conception Act that was introduced in January 2023 by GOP Representative Alex Mooney of West Virginia.

The Life at Conception Act does not include any exception for IVF.

The legislation also defines the term "human being" to include “all stages of life, including the moment of fertilization, cloning, or other moment at which an individual member of the human species comes into being.”

DNC Rapid Response Director Alex Floyd had the following response.

“Facts are facts: the sky is blue, the ocean is wet, and Mike Johnson has spent his entire career pushing an extreme anti-choice agenda including legislation that could rip away access to IVF."
"Johnson is a terrible liar, trying and failing to run from his own unpopular record working to outlaw abortion nationwide and take away access to IVF from Americans trying to start a family."
"But the truth is that if given the chance, Johnson and the rest of his MAGA allies will keep putting Americans’ basic rights on the chopping block, from abortion to birth control to IVF treatments.”

After O'Donnell fact-checked Johnson's contradictory statement regarding human life, reinforcements came online.

In November, shortly after Johnson became House Speaker and was asked to elaborate on allegations about cracking down on contraception and IVF, he replied:

“I’m not sure what they’re talking about. I don’t really remember any of those measures.”

He conveniently shifted away from the topic to discuss the then-impending government shutdown.