State Representative John LaBruzzo of Metairie said many of his constituents are tired of paying for children from poor families and that is why he is considering proposing legislation that would pay women on government assistance $1,000 if they choose to be sterilized.
“You have these people who are just fed up with working their buns off to try to provide for their own family and being forced by the government o provide for others’ families who just want to have unlimited kids,” he said.
LaBruzzo said he is studying voluntary sterilization for women whose sole financial support comes from the government in the form of welfare or other public assistance. His idea would be to give the women $1,000 if they had their tubes tied.
Where have we seen ideas like this before?
I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee or a ragout.
I have already computed the charge of nursing a beggar’s child to be about two shillings per annum, rags included; and I believe no gentleman would repine to give ten shillings for the carcass of a good fat child, which, as I have said, will make four dishes of excellent nutritive meat, when he hath only some particular friend or his own family to dine with him. Thus the squire will learn to be a good landlord, and grow popular among his tenants; the mother will have eight shillings net profit, and be fit for work till she produces another child.
When you treat people as a means to an end, you are simply treating them as a commodity. So I see no difference between the two completely voluntary positions put forth by Representative LaBruzzo and Jonathan Swift.
Well, except that LaBruzzo is being serious, and Swift was writing satire.