Scientists in the developing world are challenging presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ claims that abortions can help solve environmental problems.
In a column for Townhall, Vijay Jayaraj, an environmental scientist and research contributor for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, said he is troubled by the wealthy politician’s agenda.
“As a citizen of a Third World country, I resent wealthy Western politicians’ acting to persuade poor women in our countries to choose abortion,” Jayaraj wrote, responding to Sanders’ comments about abortion during a September CNN debate on climate change.
The Vermont senator is perhaps the most radically pro-abortion of all the candidates running for president. Sanders has a 100-percent pro-abortion voting record in the Senate, including a recent vote against a bill to protect newborns from infanticide. In September, he responded to a question about population growth and the climate by touting abortion as an answer to environmental problems.
“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 replied.
“And the Mexico City agreement, which denies American aid to [pro-abortion groups] around the world that allow women to have abortions or even get involved in birth control, to me is totally absurd. 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 said.
Sanders’ position is “morally bankrupt,” Jayaraj responded.
“No one has the right to end the life of someone living in her mother’s womb. The inalienable right to life transcends government policies on population control,” he wrote. “Offering to fund abortions for the poor anywhere—whether in poor countries or in America—out of taxpayers’ money is an assault both on the unborn and on the conscience of taxpayers.”
Jayaraj brought up the troubling population control measures in India and China as another example of why Sanders’ position is so bad. China’s one child policy, for example, led to forced and coerced abortions and sterilizations. Though the country now has a two child policy, human rights advocates say the abuses continue.
He slammed Sanders’ idea to address climate change as “unethical, unscientific, and economically foolish.”
Jayaraj said he does believe in protecting the environment, but the solution should not involve killing unborn babies or encouraging poor women to have abortions. He said human capital, like every individual human being, is valuable.
“Developing countries, especially in Africa, need an increase in technological investment and energy systems, not a curtailment of human capital. They, like their Asian peers, need human capital to flourish,” he wrote.