Voluntary sterilization of poor women proposed by Louisiana state legislator

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Louisiana representative has proposed a controversial solution to "generational welfare," which would pay women on welfare to get sterilization. Republican John LaBruzzo said he thought of the idea because of his constituents' outrage over paying for welfare.

"You have these people who are just fed up with working their buns off to try to provide for their own family and being forced by the government [to] provide for others’ families who just want to have unlimited kids", he commented. He is currently working with Baton Rouge to gather data in support of his proposal.

The idea, which LaBruzzo has not finished forming, would award any woman on government assistance a check of $1,000 if she gets a tubal ligation operation. LaBruzzo is also considering rewarding sterilization in poor men and giving tax incentives for higher-income families to have more children.

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Is this proposal modern-day eugenics?

LaBruzzo, who is pro-life, said that the people "on the other side of the political spectrum are pro-choice. Well, let's give these people the ability to choose."

While LaBruzzo has stated that he has received an outpouring of support over his idea, the ACLU spoke out against the proposal and called it a "meanspirited attempt to eliminate the poor." Planned Parenthood representative Julie Mickelberry called it a "bribery", suggesting a solution which attacked the root of the problem was needed and that the representative needed to "go back to addressing issues of education about unintended pregnancy and opening healthcare access."

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