Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s economic argument for justifying the killing of babies in the womb – emphasizing the benefit for labor-force participation, minorities and poor women – didn’t sit well with Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C.
At a hearing Tuesday, the only black Republican in the Senate responded to Yellen framing abortion in terms of economic indicators, saying it “feels callous to me.”
“I certainly don’t mean to say what I think the effects are in a manner that’s harsh,” Yellen replied.
The Treasury secretary said she was talking about “whether or not women will have the ability to regulate their reproductive situation in ways that will enable them to plan lives that are fulfilling and satisfying for them.”
“And one aspect of a satisfying life is being able to feel that you have the financial resources to raise a child, that the children you bring into the world are wanted, and that you have the ability to take care of them,” she said.
Yellen said many women who have abortions are teens – “particularly low income and often black” – who “aren’t in a position to be able to care for children” and “it deprives them often of the ability to continue their education to later participate in the workforce.”
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“So there is a spillover into labor force participation, but … it means the children will grow up in poverty and do worse themselves,” she argue. “This is not harsh. This is the truth.”
Scott interrupted Yellen, noting his time was running out.
“I’ll just say that as a guy raised by a black woman in abject poverty, I am thankful to be here as a United States senator,” he said.
See the exchange:
And here’s Yellen explaining to @SenatorTimScott, the black son of a single mother who grew up in poverty, that it’s especially important for black women to have abortion access because they are often poor.
Scott responds powerfully: “I am thankful to be here as a U.S. Senator” pic.twitter.com/Ab3Miw7gfW
— Dylan Housman (@Dylan_Housman) May 10, 2022
Later, Scott responded to a Democratic senator who asked why he should “impose” the circumstances of his life on others.
The American Dream is one of hope and opportunity. We should be having conversations about economic policies that ensure everyone—including single moms and their kids—have access to that dream. Sec. Yellen’s comments today don’t meet that mark. pic.twitter.com/DqumCuggHs
— Tim Scott (@SenatorTimScott) May 10, 2022
Chelsea Clinton also argued abortion improved the economy in an address at a 2018 Planned Parenthood event called “Rise Up For Roe,” which was part of the effort to block Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.
She claimed Roe added $3.5 trillion to the economy.
“It is not a disconnected fact – to address this T-shirt of 1973 – that American women entering the labor force from 1970 to 2009 added three-and-a-half trillion dollars to our economy. Right?” said the daughter of Bill and Hillary Clinton.
“The net, new entrance of women – that is not disconnected from the fact that Roe became the law of the land in January of 1973,” she said.
“So, I think, whatever it is that people say they care about, I think that you can connect to this issue,” Clinton said.
“Of course, I would hope that they would care about our equal rights and dignity to make our own choices – but, if that is not sufficiently persuasive, hopefully some of these other arguments that you’re hearing expressed so beautifully will be.”
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