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Utah Republican Rep. Burgess Owens delivered an impassioned speech against abortion Wednesday, arguing it discriminates against Black women in the United States.
“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, the abortion equity seems pretty racist to me,” Owens said during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on abortion access in the United States.
Rep. Burgess Owens, R-Utah, speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on voting rights on Capitol Hill in Washington April 20, 2021. (Bill Clark/Pool via AP)
“For years, the Black community has been disproportionately targeted by the abortionist industry. I’ve watched it happen. We’ve lost more than 20 million black babies over the last 40 years. That’s 40% of my race exterminated before given a chance to bless our nation with their innate talent.”
Owens was specifically taking issue with a statement last week from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who sparked outrage by suggesting restricting abortion would be bad for the economy.
Burgess Owens, R-Utah., speaks during a news conference with other House Republican members on immigration in Washington March 17, 2021. (Getty Images)
“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,” Owens added. “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.'”
Owens also referenced an op-ed from Sen. Tim Scott in which the South Carolina Republican also took issue with Yellen’s comment with the headline, “Abortion is not the way to help single Black mothers.”
“Thank goodness Sen. Tim Scott, upon hearing this statement by Secretary Yellen, called this out for what it was — biased, callous and calculated,” Owens said. “I agree with my friend Sen. Scott, who learned from his single mother that ‘there is dignity in all work and dignity in all life.’”
Abortion-rights supporters chant their objections at the Kentucky Capitol April 13, 2022, in Frankfort, Ky., as Kentucky lawmakers debate overriding the governor’s veto of an abortion measure. (AP Photo/Bruce Schreiner, File)
Owens’ comments come as the abortion debate has reignited in the United States in response to a leaked Supreme Court opinion earlier this month that suggests the court is on the verge of striking down Roe v. Wade.
Pro-choice activists, including some groups who have shown up at the homes of the Supreme Court’s conservative justices, have protested across the country.
A memo from the Department of Homeland Security obtained by Fox News this week shows the department is bracing for an expected wave of violence following the Supreme Court ruling whenever it is handed down.
“DHS is committed to protecting Americans’ freedom of speech and other civil rights and civil liberties, including the right to peacefully protest,” a DHS spokesperson told Fox News. “DHS is also committed to working with our partners across every level of government and the private sector to share timely information and intelligence, prevent all forms of violence and to support law enforcement efforts to keep our communities safe.”