Arizona Republican Vice Chair Outrageously Advocates Sterilizing Women on Welfare

russell-pearceAnother day, another Republican proving the massive disdain the party has for the poorest among us.

Current Arizona GOP vice chair Russell Pearce, who’s also a conservative radio host and former state senator, recently advocated for the sterilization of women on welfare. Apparently because if you’re on welfare, you don’t deserve to be treated like a human being.

Pearce said, “You put me in charge of Medicaid, the first thing I’d do is get female recipients Norplant, birth-control implants, or tubal ligations. Then, we’ll test recipients for drugs and alcohol, and if you want to reproduce or use drugs or alcohol, then get a job.”

“I know there’s people out there who need help, and my heart goes out to them, too,” he continued. “But you know what? That should never be a government role. That’s a role for family, church, and community.”

Says the man who receives a government pension for holding several government positions throughout his career. I guess it’s not the role of the government to help the poorest among us, but it is the role of the government to provide him with a nice big pension package to use for his retirement.

First, let me address the absurd notion that women on welfare should be sterilized. I guess Constitutional rights mean nothing to him. Which is ironic considering he clearly seems to be a very right-wing conservative. To honestly suggest that women on welfare should be sterilized to prevent a pregnancy while receiving help from the government is appalling.

Second, his “plan” to drug and alcohol test those on welfare would cost the state so much money that they’d end up spending more testing people on welfare than anything else. Besides, alcohol is legal. Just because someone drinks doesn’t mean they’re using money they get from the government to pay for it. Is he advocating that someone who had a friend buy them a 12-pack of beer be kicked off government assistance because they dared to “fail” a random alcohol test? Besides, how exactly would you test for alcohol? Would you require that all people on welfare be “on call” to submit to random testing? Alcohol metabolizes fairly quickly. If someone has a scheduled “test” on Thursday, they could drink just about every day but Wednesday and Thursday before that test and probably pass whatever “alcohol test” they were given. Alcohol doesn’t behave like some drugs that can stay in someone’s system for days or weeks.

But then there’s the typical, and idiotic, right-wing talking point that the government should have no role in poverty. That it should be left up to local communities and churches. As if local communities and churches could raise the money necessary to provide for the tens of millions of Americans who rely on government assistance just to survive.

And let me go ahead and point out another fact of which this blowhard seems completely unaware: Millions of Americans who rely on government programs to survive have jobs

Also, it never ceases to amaze me how people like Pearce seem to not care at all that many of their “plans” for government programs would negatively impact tens of millions of innocent children.

Because when you target the adults who receive these benefits, you’re also going after the children who depend upon them.

Oh, and did I mention that Pearce was also a key figure behind Arizona’s controversial anti-immigration law, and became the first state lawmaker in Arizona’s history to ever be recalled? So there’s that as well.

Just another great example of “conservative Christian values” being shown by the vice chair of the Arizona Republican party.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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