Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders railed against the Trump administration for ending U.S. funding of abortion businesses overseas and said one of the benefits of abortion is that it reduces the population.
Sanders, a senator from Vermont and self-proclaimed Democratic socialist, participated in CNN’s climate town hall Wednesday night and was asked by Martha Readyoff, a teacher, whether he would speak up about the issue of human overpopulation.
Readyoff, a teacher from Connecticut, said during the town hall that human population growth has more than doubled over the last 50 years. She contended that “the planet cannot sustain this growth.” She admitted that it was a “poisonous” topic for politicians but one that is “crucial to face.”
“Empowering women and educating everyone on the need to curb population growth seems a reasonable campaign to enact,” the teacher said, then asked Sanders: “Would you be courageous enough to discuss this issue and make it a key feature of a plan to address climate catastrophe?”
Sanders responded: “The answer is Yes.”
“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 said.
He continued by criticizing the Trump administration’s reenactment of the “Mexico City Policy,” which bans the federal government from giving foreign aid to organizations that promote or perform abortion overseas.
Calling it the “Mexico City agreement,” Sanders argued that the policy “denies American aid to those organizations around the world that allow women to have abortions or even get involved in birth control.”
“[T]o me, [that] is totally absurd,” the 77-year-old argued.
“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, it's something I very, very strongly support,” he concluded.
Sanders’ response drew the ire of many conservatives and pro-life advocates overseas.
“A woman asks Bernie Sanders how he would help curb overpopulation of the Earth. Sanders replies — I kid you not — that we need increased access to ABORTION to curb population growth in order to prevent climate change,” Boyce College biblical studies professor Denny Burk wrote on Twitter. “Killing babies in utero is now the answer to climate change?”
Pro-life speaker and strategist Abianuju Ekeocha, the founder of Culture of Life Africa, was also disgusted with Sanders’ response.
“Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness!!! An American presidential candidate speaks about how important it is for America to fund the abortion in poor third world countries,” she wrote.
“I repeat, @BernieSanders wants America to fund the killing of Africa’s unborn babies!”
In another tweet, Ekeocha opined that if a Democrat were to win in 2020, it would lead to “tyrannical American funded population control & slaughter of Africa’s unborn babies.”
Ekeocha concluded by asking people to watch her 2019 documentary titled “Strings Attached,” which analyzes the negative impacts of western reproductive health organization’s push for "sexual and reproductive health and rights” in Africa.
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise was also appalled by Sanders’ comments.
“During CNN’s #ClimateTownHall, Bernie Sanders said YOUR tax dollars should be used to fund abortions in foreign countries to reduce population size,” Scalise tweeted. “Are you kidding?? That’s horrifying, and tells you just how little regard radical liberals have for innocent life.”