Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), one of the leading candidates for the Democratic Party's 2020 presidential nomination, sparked outrage for linking abortion to population control during a CNN town hall event in Vermont Wednesday night.
During a discussion on climate change, Sanders said he would support taxpayer-funded programs to provide abortions and birth control for women in developing countries as a measure to combat the climate crisis.
"Human population growth has more than doubled in the past 50 years. The planet cannot sustain this growth. I realize this is a poisonous topic for politicians, but it's crucial to face," a member of the audience asked the Vermont senator. "Empowering women and educating everyone on the need to curb population growth seems a reasonable campaign to enact. Would you be courageous enough to discuss this issue and make it a key feature of a plan to address climate catastrophe?"
"The answer is yes," Sanders replied. "And 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."
"And the Mexico City agreement, which denies American aid to those organizations around the world that allow women to have abortions or even get involved in birth control to me is totally absurd," he continued. " 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, is something I very, very strongly support."
Pro-life supporters have called Sander's response "horrifying."
Constitutional law attorney Jenna Ellis told CBN's Newswatch program she agrees with other conservatives and finds Sanders comments "absolutely horrifying."
"This is something where the Democrats are prioritizing a political interest literally over the lives of millions of children," she said. "And to think that Bernie Sanders and the Democrats could be so callous toward human life and especially in other countries that to say that simply because of climate change that we need to promote abortion and encourage young mothers to literally murder their children.
"If this doesn't show the American people how far progressive-left the Democratic Party has gone, I don't know what will," Ellis added.
"Our government has no plausible constitutional legal or moral argument to be promoting or paying for abortions in other countries," she noted.
CNN host S.E. Cupp said Sanders was talking about eugenics when he made those comments. Eugenics is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as "the practice or advocacy of controlled selective breeding of human populations (as by sterilization) to improve the population's genetic composition."
"Let's just state for the record: talking about needing 'population control' through ABORTION for the sake of CLIMATE is talking about EUGENICS," Cupp tweeted. "The fact that @BernieSanders is willing to entertain this vile idea is not only disgusting, it should be disqualifying."
Let's just state for the record: talking about needing "population control" through ABORTION for the sake of CLIMATE is talking about EUGENICS. The fact that @BernieSanders is willing to entertain this vile idea is not only disgusting, it should be disqualifying.
— S.E. Cupp (@secupp) September 5, 2019
The anchor followed up in a second tweeted, "Also, if we're going to talk about population control, we should bring up Malthusian theory, a cautionary tale against not anticipating how science and industry would solve future problems, like population growth. Let's talk, @BernieSanders."
How do you not say unequivocally "NO" to the question of whether you support the idea of "curbing population growth" through abortion to reduce climate change??? Well, watch. This is apparently how. https://t.co/z5G7PCjJRe
— S.E. Cupp (@secupp) September 5, 2019
Other social media users also responded to Sander's comments with disdain.
"Guys, Bernie has done it. He's declared children in the Third World problematic," tweeted Michael Brendan Dougherty.
Twitter follower Bennie Johnson also tweeted:
"Democrat Voter: There are too many humans on earth.
Bernie: I agree. We need to fund abortions to poor, third world countries.
This is absolutely horrifying."
And another user, Jeremy Boreing wrote: "Abortion to fight climate change is 2019's human sacrifice to make the sky godsend rain."