Louisiana State Representative John LaBruzzo wants to sterilize poor women. What a fascist, fucking idiot

and here the TP pounces on the story

Metairie lawmaker considers bill to fund sterilizations
by Richard A. Webster Staff Writer

NEW ORLEANS – State Rep. John LaBruzzo, R-Metairie, fears Louisiana may be headed toward an economic crisis if the percentage of people dependent on the government is not decreased.

His solution: pay impoverished women $1,000 to have their tubes tied so they will stop having babies they can’t afford.

The idea came to LaBruzzo after hurricanes Katrina and Gustav when the state was forced to evacuate, shelter and care for tens of thousands of people.

“I realized that all these people were in Louisiana’s care and what a massive financial responsibility that is to the state,” LaBruzzo said. “I said, ‘I wonder if it might be a good idea to pay some of these people to get sterilized.'”

LaBruzzo said he is researching the issue, and if he finds that the number of people on welfare has increased on a dramatic and continuous basis over the past several decades, he may introduce a bill during the next legislative session promoting voluntary sterilization in exchange for monetary compensation.

“If both the welfare and Social Security system keep growing, one day we’re going to have a small minority of people working to fund and finance everybody else who isn’t working or producing,” LaBruzzo said. “Our kids, who will be working, will be the minority and any vote of theirs will be canceled out. If your livelihood is based on government handouts, why would you ever vote for somebody who is going to lower taxes? They never would. So once we reach that breaking point there’s no return.”

Reaction to LaBruzzo’s proposal has been swift. It has been called racist and reminiscent of the genocidal policies of the Nazis.

Shana Griffin, interim director of the New Orleans Women’s Health Clinic, described it as a modern day version of eugenics, a theory that promotes improving humanity’s future by decreasing the number of babies produced by people who are seen as physically, socially or mentally deficient.

It is obvious who LaBruzzo is targeting with this legislation by mentioning welfare recipients and those dependent on city-assisted evacuation — poor, black women, Griffin said.

“If someone doesn’t have a car and needs to utilize city-assisted evacuation, that makes them a social burden? The fact that he feels so comfortable and entitled to make these statements is a reflection of our society, that we’re OK with the most vulnerable of our community being blamed for the social, economic and political crises that we’re experiencing,” Griffin said. “If we really want to improve the lives of people in our communities we would think about raising the minimum wage, holistic health care, improving labor laws, employment opportunities for all people and the educational system.

“Instead he wants to use a form of medical experimentation and forced sterilization on poor women of color, using their economic status as a way to make them more vulnerable to the offer.”

Tulane University criminologist Peter Scharf said LaBruzzo’s idea is proof that Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” is alive and well. In the 1729 satirical essay, Swift proposed solving Ireland’s economic troubles by selling children as food to the wealthy. His essay is subtitled, “For Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland From Being a Burden to Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Public.”

It is not unusual during times of economic turmoil for people to lay the blame for everyone’s problems on the backs of the black underclass, Scharf said. But in this case, LaBruzzo is out on a raft by himself.

“We’re about to go into a major recession or depression and no one economically is blaming it on the black underclass,” Scharf said. “They’re blaming it on Congress, George W. Bush or the captains of industry. The true victimizers of present-day society live in the corporate boardrooms, and very few of them are black. They’re the people running Fannie Mae, Lehman Brothers and AIG.

“We’re about to spend $700 billion in a week to save these welfare corporations who have ripped off society, and he’s worrying about someone who might collect a welfare check 20 years from now? The irony given the world situation today makes me want to laugh.”

But this is not about the problems of today, LaBruzzo said. It is about the future and whether the number of people dependent on the state will continue to grow to the point where the whole system crashes.

LaBruzzo said he is only considering the proposal for now while he conducts research. But backlash from various groups was to be expected, he said.

“The black community will say this is some sort of race-based genocide. And there will be tremendous push back from the ACLU. They’ll try to say these people are incapable of making such a decision when their life is in turmoil. That if you’re dangling money in front of them, of course they’ll make a decision that will affect them negatively.

“My argument would be if they’re incapable of making a decision whether to cease reproduction are they capable of raising multiple children to be good citizens? And if they’re incapable, maybe Social Services should take their children.”

The church also bears some responsibility for failing to speak out more forcefully against economically challenged women giving birth to multiple children, LaBruzzo said.

“I’m sure many of these people aren’t going to church every Sunday and many aren’t married before having children and sex. But the church isn’t condemning their lifestyle. They’re just condemning anyone who’s trying to do something about it.”

Despite the criticisms that have been leveled against him, LaBruzzo insists that voluntary sterilization has nothing to do with race.

“The majority of people on welfare in the nation are white. So the people making those arguments are less concerned with helping those people and more concerned trying to convince themselves that they’re not prejudiced, that they’re these wonderful, good people. The politically safe thing to do is to not touch this, but the train is potentially going off the cliff and everyone just wants to ignore the problem.”

Griffin said it would have been to the benefit of everyone if LaBruzzo was the one ignoring the problem.

“Referring to people as social burdens is the same as referring to them as social degenerates,” she said. “What he needs to keep in mind is that the people he’s talking about sterilizing are the working class who keep this city afloat.”


~ by maringouin on Wednesday, September 24, 2008.

8 Responses to “appalling”

  1. I’m trying to raise $1000 in attempt to have Rep. LaBruzzo sterilized. He has already spawned one child and is sure to want more.

    Please help me in this endeavor!

  2. According to the most recent study, abortion is now fulfilling the eugenic vision of Planned Parenthood’s founder,Margaret Sanger, and blacks are disproportionately getting abortions which reduces the black population.

    Given the data, I am curious to hear from those who oppose this legislation and yet support abortion. Isn’t this the ideal Pro-Choice legislation? Why doesn’t the ACLU celebrate this as an opportunity for women to make decisions about their reproductive rights and even profit from their choice?

    Also for those who advocate for population control to save the planet, is this not the kind of legislation you would like to have passed so we can reduce our carbon footprint?

  3. Don’t you think that education and opportunity would benefit the welfare of all Americans as opposed to blaming the ills of this society on poor women? Billions of dollars poured into Wall Street, into Iraq, into foreign entities and the one shouldering the blame is the poor?

    And tossing your citation of the ACLU is pointless, cause the ACLU’s mission is defense of the constitution, and LaBruzzo’s proposal isn’t law. The ACLU would instead defend the woman’s right to choose, and not some fascist’s pipe-dream.

    Your insertion of the term abortion nullifies your opinion on this matter since LaBruzzo is promoting sterilization. Answer this are you of the pro-life and pro-death penalty persuasion? The two are not mutually exclusive.

  4. maringouin, thanks for the respectful response.

    Sure, I would agree that education is a far better solution than what LaBruzzo proposes. I think his idea is bad.

    Not sure why it is relevant, but since you bring it up, I do oppose the bailout that all Congressional Democrats, Bush, McCain, Obama, and some Republicans are now endorsing. It will be painful if they do not pass it, but in the long run it will be less painful then paying 700 billion to their rich friends.

    I brought up the ACLU only because they have made a public statement that says this plan is racist and so I was curious how others saw it in light of the recent study that black women are 5 times likely to have an abortion over whites and Hispanics are 3 times as likely.

    I don’t see how abortion nullifies the discussion of the issue. Both are choice issues, both target low-income people, and both topics are how some folks deal with poverty. Why do you think there is no reasonable connection between the two issues?

    For the record, legally speaking I am for the repeal of Roe v. Wade, but only at the Federal level. I think it should be a states’ rights issue and each state should then decide. Personally, I am pro-life and I do not support the death penalty and instead feel there should be other alternative forms of punishment.

    So I take it you support abortion which disproportionately effects minorities and low income people but reject sterilization? Can you explain to me why? I really am interested to hear your perspective. Thanks.

  5. Cite your study that black women are 5 times more likely than whites to have an abortion. Link? Scientific research, longitudinal studies included? Journal or text? Was it research performed in the last 5 years, and was it an unbiased source, or an entity financed by pro-life or religious money? This is the foundation of critical thinking, pulling resources out that merit arguments from those that you personally believe in and those that are opposite your beliefs. Citing them leads to credibility in your argument and opens the door for one to consider and respect alternative opinions.

    And if you read ALL the links included in my initial post, LaBruzzo does NOT specify his proposal to include blacks only, but also poor white women.

    Federally financed sterilization, be it voluntary or mandatory eliminates the individual’s right to privacy. Its just like lining up your kids to have retina scans “for their safety” or implanting chips under the skin or in your driver’s license – its Orwellian and completely anathema to the rights delineated under the US constitution. If these are instituted we would be no better than China or some other third world country ruled by a fascist zealot.

    Your continued probing to draw me into a discussion on abortion won’t work. My views on the subject were never mentioned, yet you equate forced sterilization with choice abortion as if they are inextricably linked. I find it sad when someone frames all their discussions and probably ideology around the existence of a surgical procedure. Frankly the performance of said procedure is nobody’s business; framed by the male gender, that alone eliminates men as qualified to pontificate on the subject since men cannot bear children.

    There are SO many other pressing issues (child and adult slavery, blatant destruction of the earth, warmongering and death of innocent humans by war, lack of health care and insurance coverage of over 50 million Americans, torture, greed and materialism) that affect humans and to narrow one’s vision to the singular issue of abortion is provincial.

  6. The study is summarized in this LA Times story which opens like this,0,5180887.story
    “Although the overall U.S. abortion rate is at its lowest level since 1974, the drop has been far more dramatic for whites than for African Americans, who in 2004 had abortions at five times the rate of white women, according to a report released Monday.

    The abortion rate for Latinas was about three times that of whites.”

    The full study is from the Guttmacher Institute which is a pro-choice group.

    It is unfortunate you think my questions are some kind of trick. If you don’t see a connection between the two, that is an acceptable answer to me, you just have to say so. I am only trying to understand how different people think on this issue. If you think the question is flawed, tell me and then give me some reasons why you think it is flawed. In dialogue, challenging the fundamentals of the question is acceptable. If you are afraid to dialogue, I understand. I am sure lots of folks have attacked you for stuff, it happens to me as well. If you just want to reject my questions based on gender, I understand that response as well. If you decide to root your ideas in sexist ideology, that is fine. Again, my hope was to understand you, not change you.

    If there are so many other pressing issues, then you should blog on them. Most people blog on stuff they want to talk about, but you might like to blog and then shut down conversation. That is your choice and your readers will have to make up their own minds as to why you are attacking me for asking questions and then shutting down discussion.

  7. Thank you for the link to the Guttmacher Institute.

    The focus of this blog is current political events in south Louisiana, and the devastating injustice of the August 2005 federal flood that affected over 1 million people in south Louisiana, killing well over 1600 people that thought they were safe – look at these links – no one ever deserves to die like this in America

    Thanks to folks like Dennis Hastert, Michael Brown, George Bush, Dick Cheney and the sensationalist media we have been hung out to dry and left to our own devices to rebuild, while this country’s administration dumps BILLIONS of dollars every month into Iraq. Therefore, because of the extreme hardships we endure on a daily basis living on the mosquito coast, the blogger 300 (note the list of local bloggers to the right) have no tolerance for idiot politicians like LaBruzzo that just diminish the credibility of this region by proposing stupid legislation that casts south Louisiana as a backwater state in the minds of the rest of the nation. I am sure you’ve seen the outcry against his proposal in many media outlets, not just here.

    My initial post was to illuminate the extreme distaste for LaBruzzo’s proposal, and YOU chose to turn it into a “dialogue” about abortion. That is not what the focus is on this blog, nor is it a platform for you to turn it into that focus. Plus you set the tone by your condescending remarks about Margaret Sanger, and I cannot change your perception of my responses as an attack. This blog only gets a tiny fraction of traffic, insignificant in the grand scheme of online information available, therefore the points you make probably won’t find the outlet you seek.

    If you are looking for more insight on abortion and women might I suggest you read the book Abortion and Life by Dr. Jennifer Baumgardner. She includes individual stories of women who have gone through the procedure and their life experiences, perhaps this is the place to find the insight you want.

    She also co produced a film “I Had An Abortion” and you can watch it on Google Video

    Baumgardner presents a compelling argument in her book about low income women receiving free birth control that only has 80% of the effective hormones required to prevent pregnancy and the same women becoming pregnant, women in abusive controlling relationships whose partners refuse to allow them to use birth control, women with no access or money to buy birth control or see a doctor and on and on and on. And if you believe that abstinence is the answer then you are sadly jaded.

    There is no “one” reason a woman seeks an abortion, it is multifaceted and individual and cannot be pigeonholed into right and wrong, pro-choice or anti-choice. Therein lies your answer, not here in this blog.

  8. I recognize your blog is insignificant in the grand scheme. I was not seeking an outlet, just some intelligent discourse. I see that I will need to look elsewhere for the latter.

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