Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) says population control is a key factor in combatting climate change, and suggested U.S. taxpayers should fund abortions and birth control for women in "poor countries" as part of the solution.
What are the details?
During CNN's "climate crisis town hall" with Democratic 2020 hopefuls Wednesday night, an audience member identified as a teacher addressed Sanders, saying, "Human population growth has more than doubled in the past 50 years. The planet cannot sustain this growth. I realize this is a poisonous topic for politicians, but it's crucial to face. Empowering women and educating everyone on the need to curb population growth seems a reasonable campaign to enact."
The woman asked, "Would you be courageous enough to discuss this issue and make it a key feature of a plan to address the climate catastrophe?"
"Well, often, the answer is 'yes,' and the answer has everything to do with the fact that women in the United States of America, by the way, have a right to control their own bodies and make reproductive decisions, " Sanders responded, to applause.
He continued, "And the Mexico City agreement — which denies American aid to those organizations around the world that allow women to have abortions or even get involved in birth control — to me, is totally absurd."
The Mexico City agreement Sanders referred to is a policy that prohibits U.S. taxpayer dollars from being used by foreign organizations to fund abortion services in other countries. It was put in place by President Ronald Reagan in 1984 — and according to The Atlantic, has been repealed and reinstated several times. President Donald Trump reinstated the policy in January of 2017.
Sanders finalized his answer by saying, "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."
The Daily Wire's Ryan Saavedra shared a clip of Sanders' comments on Twitter: