LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - As more states consider revisions to their abortion legislation, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has weighed in on the hot-button issue.
In reaction to criticism that abortion bans are racist, Bevin told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson that such commentary is “empty.”
“When you consider the fact that over 40 percent of all the abortions performed in America are the taking of young black lives, that more black children — more blacks, period — are killed by abortion than crime, accidents, cancer, disease, AIDS ... every other cause of death combined does not add up to the number of blacks that are killed by abortion,” Bevin told Carlson. “For people to come out and say that it is somehow racial justice to be able to kill black children before they’re even born is a remarkably empty argument, and highly offensive, frankly, to many people like myself.”
According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the leading cause of death among African-Americans in 2015 was heart disease, just as it was in 1980. That trend also applies when the data is categorized by men, women, white people and all people, for both 1980 and 2015.
“The governor is rarely asked to identify his sources of information or to cite any body of research to back up his claims, and this was no different," Attica Scott -- a Democratic state representative who once served on Louisville’s Metro Council -- told WAVE 3 News on Friday. "He was able to spew what he thinks is a reality as a white man talking about black women and our reproductive health.”
It’s worth noting that the CDC does not list abortion as a cause of death. The agency instead defines a “legal induced abortion” as “an intervention performed by a licensed clinician ... intended to terminate an ongoing pregnancy,” according to PolitiFact.com. Considering the CDC report, and other data, PolitiFact rated a Texas politician’s 2018 claim similar to the one Bevin made Thursday, that abortion is the leading cause of death among black Americans, as “mostly false.”
Bevin went on to say that abortion clinics are often set up “in minority neighborhoods.”
“They intentionally prey upon minorities,” Bevin said of those who open abortion clinics. “The fact that over 60 percent of abortions are performed on people of color ... this is everything that Margarent Sanger wanted when she started Planned Parenthood.”
Countered Scott: “It’s definitely clear the comments the governor made were racist comments because he hasn’t done the work to become and anti-racist ally. If he had, he wouldn’t have made those comments. He would have said women and black women deserve to make their own reproductive health decisions."
Kentucky’s lone abortion clinic is in downtown Louisville, and Bevin has sought to close it as well as prevent the openings of additional clinics.
Several Republican-led states, including Kentucky, have passed new anti-abortion bills that, paired with the shift toward conservatism on the Supreme Court bench, could chip away at the court’s landmark Roe v. Wade ruling that in 1973 allowed a woman the right to choose to have an abortion.
“The reason you are seeing all of this legislation now, in states across America, is because the more we know medically, the more we know scientifically, the more it is clear that we are killing human beings who do not have any voice, and people are appropriately outraged,” Bevin told Carlson.