Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders sparked outrage after linking abortion to population control during a discussion on how to combat climate change Wednesday night.
The Vermont Democrat was asked during CNN’s town hall on climate change whether he would make curbing population growth a “key feature” of his plan to address climate change.
“I realize this is a poisonous topic for politicians, but it is crucial to face,” an audience member, Martha Readyoff, told Sanders. “Empowering women and educating everyone on the need to curb population growth seems a reasonable campaign to enact. Would you be courageous enough to discuss this issue and make it a key feature of a plan to address climate catastrophe?”
“Well Martha the answer is yes,” Sanders responded. “And the answer has everything to do with the fact that women in the United States of America, by the way, have a right to control their own bodies, and make reproductive decisions.”
Sanders added that he would support taxpayer-funded programs to provide abortions and birth control for women in developing countries as a measure to combat the climate crisis.
“The Mexico City agreement, which denies American aide to those organizations around the world that allow women to have abortions or even get involved in birth control to me is totally absurd,” Sanders continued. “So I think, especially in poor countries around the world where women do not necessarily want to have large numbers of babies, and where they can have the opportunity through birth control to control the number of kids they have, is something I very, very strongly support.”
Pro-life representative Steve Scalise called Sanders’s answer “horrifying.”
During CNN’s #ClimateTownHall, Bernie Sanders said YOUR tax dollars should be used to fund abortions in foreign countries to reduce population size.
Are you kidding?? That’s horrifying, and tells you just how little regard radical liberals have for innocent life. pic.twitter.com/6yj8e5zzDk
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) September 5, 2019
Conservative CNN host S.E. Cupp, meanwhile, accused Sanders of referring to eugenics, which she said should be “disqualifying” for his presidential candidacy.
Let’s just state for the record: talking about needing “population control” through ABORTION for the sake of CLIMATE is talking about EUGENICS. The fact that @BernieSanders is willing to entertain this vile idea is not only disgusting, it should be disqualifying.
— S.E. Cupp (@secupp) September 5, 2019