Owens Stands Up for Life

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In case you missed it, Rep. Burgess Owens (UT-04) delivered the following statement, as prepared for delivery, during today’s House Judiciary Committee hearing on abortion.

“Last week at a Senate Banking Committee hearing, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen testified that restricting abortion “would have very damaging effects on the economy.” 

“As she took the position of representing teenagers, low-income women, and minorities, Secretary Yellen argued that ending the life of an unborn child is a “good thing” for the labor force participation rate.

“Since I’m very aware of the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, I find the parroting of her manifesto by Secretary Yellen – the devaluation of life of unborn poor Black and minority children – as very concerning.

“I’m also aware of Sanger’s 1946 book The Negro Project in which she shared her vision for poor Blacks and other minorities, and I quote, “The gradual suppression, elimination, and eventual extinction of defective stock. Those human weeds which threaten the blooming of the finest flowers of American civilization.”

“Where she set up her first abortion shops testifies to her mission. Black Harlem in 1921. 

“Thank goodness Senator Tim Scott, upon hearing this statement by Secretary Yellen, called this out for what it was: biased, callous and calculated. I agree with my friend Senator Scott who learned from his single mother that “there is dignity in all work and dignity in all life.”

“In an op-ed published in yesterday’s Washington Post, Senator Scott wrote, “We live in a world where words are too often disconnected from the lived experiences of many Americans. Yellen’s cold and robotic reference to the issue of life is just the latest example of that.”

“Secretary Yellen’s comments are also deeply offensive to me.  

“For years, the Black community has been disproportionately targeted by the abortionist industry. I’ve watched it happen.

“We have lost 20 million Black babies over the past 40 years. That’s 40% of my race, exterminated before given a chance to bless our nation with their innate talents. Based on her conclusion that their demise is a “good thing” for “our labor force participation rate,” Secretary Yellen has obviously concluded that these 20 million Black lives would have been an economic drain on our society.

“A 2017 report by the Life Issues Institute found that 88% of Planned Parenthood mega-centers target women of color, with 80%, specifically targeting Black communities and 56% targeting Hispanic and Latino neighborhoods. 

“For those who love the concept of equity in everything under the sun, including test score outcomes, when it comes to the death of the unborn, this abortion equity seems pretty racist to me. 

“Abortion isn’t healthcare. Health care doesn’t result in the intentional death of over 60 million human beings. It undermines the dignity and worth of every individual, and their God-given right to life. 

“If a woman feels that abortion is her only or best option, I believe that woman has been failed by her family, her partner, her community, and her health care providers.  

“I’m the father of 6 children and 16 grandchildren – my pride comes from the joy of watching them grow and start families of their own, even if their circumstances are imperfect or—as Ms. Yellen would have us believe – an economic burden. 

“I had two of my children after my NFL career, after I had lost everything due to a business venture, and after a brief job stint as a chimney sweep and security guard. Thank goodness I was raised by a generation of proud Black Americans who taught me that in America, our financial status does not define us and can be temporary. Our children and family relationships, on the other hand, are not only eternal but an invaluable treasure during our brief time on this earth. 

“They are the only legacy, at the end of our lives, that matter.

“Our children are our most precious gifts and blessings from a loving God.

“The fight to defend life has never been more important. The fight to defend the founding ideals of our nation – that all people are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – has never been more important.  

“I ask for unanimous consent to place Senator Scott’s Washington Times op-ed, titled “Abortion is not the way to help single Black mothers” in the record.

“Thank you, and I yield the balance of my time.” 

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