Archbishop of New Orleans criticizes ‘blatantly anti-life’ sterilization proposal

Archbishop Alfred C. Hughes / Rep. John LaBruzzo
Archbishop Alfred C. Hughes / Rep. John LaBruzzo


Archbishop of New Orleans Alfred C. Hughes has criticized a Louisiana lawmaker’s proposal to pay poor women to sterilize themselves, calling it “seriously wrong,” “blatantly anti-life,” and a “form of eugenics.”

Louisiana’s Rep. John LaBruzzo, a Republican from Metairie, last week said he is studying a plan to pay poor women $1,000 to have their Fallopian tubes tied.

His proposal would also cover other forms of birth control, such as vasectomies for men, and could also encourage tax incentives for college-educated, higher-income people to have more children, the Times-Picayune reports.

Speaking of demographic trends, LaBruzzo said: “We're on a train headed to the future and there's a bridge out… And nobody wants to talk about it.”

LaBruzzo said he is concerned that people receiving government aid such as food stamps and subsidized housing are reproducing at a faster rate than the more affluent, better-educated people who presumably pay more taxes to the government.

He said he is now gathering statistics in an effort to reduce the number of people “that are going from generational welfare to generational welfare."

LaBruzzo, who represents the same district that elected David Duke to the state legislature in 1989, said his proposal is not targeting race because more white people are on welfare than black people.

Writing in a Thursday statement, Archbishop Hughes rebuked the proposal, saying:

“The Catholic Church has consistently taught that direct sterilization is seriously wrong.  The recent proposal of Representative LaBruzzo not only would make sterilization our public policy and require tax payers to pay for it, but would also constitute a form of eugenics that the Church and this country have always condemned as an egregious affront to those targeted and blatantly anti-life.” 

“Our lawmakers would do better to focus on policies that promote education and achievement to counteract poverty and the bigotry of low expectations,” Archbishop Hughes said.

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