A Massachusetts Democrat leader is facing criticism for making discriminatory comments about children with disabilities, suggesting they should be aborted because they are a drain on public school funding.
Framingham Democratic Committee Chair Michael Hugo made the comment Feb. 7 during a Framingham City Council meeting as the city leaders considered a proclamation to condemn the work of pro-life pregnancy resource centers. The proclamation “for the protection of reproductive rights” claims the pro-life charities are “deceptive” and “misleading,” and aborting unborn babies is a “fundamental right.” The city is located just west of Boston.
During public comment period, Hugo urged the council to pass the proclamation and discourage pregnancy resource centers from opening in the city. One of the reasons he gave was his “fear” that more children with disabilities will be born and cost the city money.
“Our fear is that if an unqualified sonographer misdiagnoses a heart defect, an organ defect, spina bifida, that becomes a very local issue because our school budget will have to absorb the cost of a child in special education, supplying lots and lots of special services to children who were born with the defect,” Hugo said.
Notably, Hugo told the council that he made the comment on behalf of the whole Framingham Democratic Committee – something other local Democrats vehemently denied, according to the Framingham Source, which first broke the news about Hugo’s comments.
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“As a lifetime member of the FDC, I am repulsed,” District 8 City Councilor John Stefanini told the Source. “Hugo’s written and verbal testimony suggesting aborting fetuses to save on special education costs is repugnant and the vile philosophy used by dictators to justify genocide of people deemed ‘unworthy of life.’”
District 4 City Councilor Michael Cannon also described Hugo’s comments as “truly repulsive” in a statement to the Source. Cannon pointed out that the Democratic committee leader did not make them off the cuff either. He shared an email with the news outlet that Hugo had sent to all 11 city council members at 12:46 a.m. Feb. 7 with very similar comments.
Hugo’s letter read, in part:
“As for those who say that our council has no business dealing with a ‘state issue,’ we ask if the state is going to cover the medical costs for a fetus that had sound medical reason to be terminated? is the state going to cover the costs of special education for a down’s syndrome affected child? Is the state going to pay for the extraordinary medical expense of a child with an atrial septal defect? How much does Framingham’s Public School Department pay for unreimbursed special needs school transportation, specialized education and durable supplies?”
After the meeting, in an email to the Source, Hugo claimed he made the comments “in haste” and he regrets them. He also asked the news outlet not to run an article about him, arguing it would only cause “additional harm.”
“I made a terribly irresponsible statement that I regret incredibly,” he told the Source. Later, he added, “To publish this would be compounding the mistake I made and would be hurting additional people by calling additional attention to my regretful statement.”
But it’s difficult to tell if Hugo was sincere or if he merely backtracked because of the backlash. Racist and ableist comments are common throughout the history of the pro-abortion movement.
“The City of Framingham wanted to pass an ordinance that would accuse pregnancy care centers of deceptive marketing practices because they offer reproductive healthcare but not abortion,” King told LifeNews. “This is absurd. More than that, it’s unnecessary, unethical, and unconstitutional. Knowing that such an ordinance could spark a lawsuit, the city council decided instead to virtue signal their dogmatic and intolerant ideology and pass a proclamation that only defames the great work of pregnancy care centers. Mike Hugo’s remarks that reflect eugenics are honestly not surprising.”
Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, was a well known eugenicist who believed certain groups of people, especially the poor and people with disabilities, were “unfit” and should be “weeded” out of society.
“Their lives are hopeless repetitions,” Sanger wrote in 1915. “All that they have said has been said before; all that they have done has been done better before. Such human weeds clog up the path, drain up the energies and the resources of this little earth. We must clear the way for a better world; we must cultivate our garden.”
Today, Sanger’s organization, Planned Parenthood, aborts more than 380,000 unborn babies every year and lobbies against laws to protect unborn babies from discrimination based on their special needs, sex or race.