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COMERFORD SAYS REMARKS WEREN'T MEANT TO OFFEND

James W. Comerford Jr. said today he may have made a poor choice of words when he said Saturday that the Nazis' murder of Jews was more humane than the methods used in abortions.

While Jewish leaders criticized the School Board member's statements and criticism of Planned Parenthood during a pro-life rally Saturday, a colleague also joined in condemning the comparison.

Oscar Smukler said the remarks were "an egregious insult to the Jewish community and to those who died by the most grotesque methods ever devised by man."

A parents group reported that Smukler has decided to withhold his support for Comerford as School Board president because of the statement.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Buffalo today criticized Comerford for his statement: "How they murdered the Jews was more humane than how they murder babies."

"To compare legalized abortion and Planned Parenthood to implementation of the Nazi final solution belies ignorance of the facts of the Holocaust," the federation said in a prepared statement.

"To suggest that the Nazi death machine was even slightly humane profanes the memories of the 10 million men, women and children of all races, nationalities and religions who perished in concentration camps."

"Whether or not one supports the right to abortion, one can surely see the utter inhumanity and depths of evil represented by the Nazi Holocaust," the statment continued.

Comerford said today he is far more concerned about offense he may have given Jews than by the possible loss of the School Board presidency. He also stood behind his belief that abortion is a crime against the helpless and genocide against innocent children.

"In no way am I saying that what the Nazis did in these death camps was humane," Comerford said. "I still feel that atrocities against these innocent children are as bad as what was experienced in the Holocaust because of the torture and the dismemberment and the pain that these babies feel."

"Just because abortion is legal, that does not make it any more right than what happened in the death camps," he said.

During the weekend, members of United Parents distributed a thousand leaflets attacking Comerford's positions on the board and urging parents to tell Smukler that they disapproved of his voting for Comerford.

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