Republican Utah Congressman Burgess Owens delivered a powerful pro-life testimonial at a Congressional hearing on abortion Wednesday.
During witness testimony at a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee discussing abortion rights, Owens spoke about the value of life, firing back at Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who claimed at a Senate Banking Committee hearing that “eliminating the rights of women to make decisions about women, whether to have children would have very damaging effects on the economy and would set women back decades.”
Owens opened his statement by taking aim at Yellen over her comments. He accused Yellen of parroting Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger’s ideology. “Secretary Yellen argued that ending the life of an unborn child is a good thing for the labor force participation rate,” Owens said. “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, very concerning.” Owens praised Republican South Carolina Senator Tim Scott for pushing back on Yellen’s comments during that hearing, as well as in an op-ed that the senator wrote for The Washington Post Tuesday.
“Secretary Yellen’s comments [are] also deeply offensive to me,” Owens continued. “For years, the black community has been disproportionately targeted by the abortion industry. I’ve watched it happen. We’ve lost over 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 talents. Based on [Yellen’s] conclusion, 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.”
Owens then cited a 2017 report by the pro-life think tank Life Issues Institute, which found that 88% of Planned Parenthood “mega-centers” target women of color, including 80% that target black communities and 56% that target Hispanic or Latino communities. “For those who love the concept of equity in everything under the sun including test score outcomes, when it comes to the death of unborn, the abortion equity seems pretty racist to me. Abortion is not health care. Health care does not 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 and 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 six children and 16 grandchildren,” Owens went on. “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. Now two of my beautiful, loving, talented children [were] born after my NFL career, after I lost everything due to a failed business, and after a brief job stint as a chimney sweep and a 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. It can be temporary. Our children and family relationships, on the other hand, are not only eternal, but a valuable treasure during our brief time on this Earth. They are the only legacy at the end of our lives that really matter.”
“Our children are the most precious gifts and blessings from a loving God,” Owens concluded. “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 our Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,’ has never been more important.”