Quite a few feminist bloggers – and some non-feminist ones, too – have posted in the past week about John LaBruzzo, a Republican (now, there’s a shocker!) representative from Metairie. In a meeting of Louisiana lawmakers, he suggested offering women a $1,000 incentive to have their tubes tied.
Wait, allow me to clarify.
He suggested offering poor women the incentive.
I have so many issues with what LaBruzzo is saying, some more relevant than others, that I’m not even sure where to begin. Let’s get started.
* The opposite, and more egregious to me, side of the LaBruzzo suggestion is that the state offer incentives for wealthy people to have more children. LaBruzzo and his attorney wife have only one child, the irony of which just blows me away.
* When pressed'>pressed on CNN about the fact that the poverty rate is higher in Louisiana among families without children than those with children, suggesting LaBruzzo’s idea isn’t about poverty at all, he can’t answer. He goes on some rant about “the media” because he has no answer for his obvious racism.
* And the fact that he’s smiling during the entire segment just pisses me off.
* If birth control were more readily available or if insurance were more affordable or universal or if parents living in poverty had other options available to them, then we wouldn’t need this “incentive.” There would be no need to pay people to have major surgery because they would be more in control of their lives anyway.
* Generational poverty isn’t the issue. He talks about how people are living on welfare forever and ever. In case LaBruzzo hasn’t noticed, all manor of restriction now exists for how long one can stay on various forms of welfare. And besides that, have you ever tried to live off the subsidies welfare provides? No one’s living the high life on it. People gaming the system may be, but the honest mom trying to raise three children with no help isn’t driving a brand-new SUV and eating shrimp. She can’t afford it!
* Besides that, find out why people stayed behind during Katrina. Many of them were hard-working, blue-collar folks who had to stay if the boss stayed or risk losing their jobs. Those deadbeats!
I have a long-standing desire to live in New Orleans, a city for which I have a strong fondness. When Katrina hit, all hope of my husband agreeing to that move vanished. When I read things like this – Metarie is just outside New Orleans – it makes me want to renew my efforts at home. There are jackass politicians everywhere, but Louisiana seems rife for them right now given the climate there since Katrina.
I hope LaBruzzo’s constituents will vote him out of office. It’s not because I believe this idea will become law. I don’t think it will get close. It’s more because he’s wasting his time and taxpayers’ money on this absurd discussion about paying for tubal ligations. It won’t happen, so cut the crap and spend some time doing something that could benefit Louisianans.