US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said he would support using taxpayer money to fund abortions in foreign countries as a means of population control in the face of climate change.
Sanders merged the hot-button issues of climate change and abortion rights, at the same time singling out developing nations as the culprits overpopulating Earth, during a six-and-a-half-hour CNN townhall on climate change on Wednesday. While his supporters appeared galvanized, the proposal invoked the wrath of his detractors online.
Sanders described the Mexico City agreement, which prevents American foreign aid from being used to fund organizations associated with abortions or birth control abroad, as “totally absurd,” while espousing the need to advocate and fund reproductive rights across the world, but especially in developing countries.
“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,” Sanders stated emphatically in response to an audience member.
While all major Democratic candidates have pledged support for reproductive rights, Sanders is the first to tie the issue to both global population control and climate change, much to the chagrin of conservative pundits and commenters online, who described the proposal as“unbelievable,” “monstrous”and“absolutely horrific.”
Meanwhile, even those who might typically agree with many of Sanders’ positions felt his stated approach was missing the mark, saying overconsumption, not overpopulation was the real issue.