Corporate America favors bans on abortion in order to “force poor and working-class people to give birth against their will” as a way to “keep a workforce basically conscripted to large-scale employers to work more,” according to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
The NY Democrat who represents parts of Queens and The Bronx said during a House hearing this week that companies want to prevent employees from getting abortions so that businesses can increase their headcounts.
Workers who are thus burdened to have more children are more dependent on companies for income due to the high costs associated with raising kids, according to the progressive lawmaker.
“I think it’s important to state that abortion is an economic issue,” Ocasio-Cortez told a House hearing called by Democrats to discuss abortion restrictions.
“Forcing poor and working-class people to give birth against their will, against their consent, against their ability to provide for themselves or a child, is a profound economic issue and it’s certainly a way to keep a workforce basically conscripted to large-scale employers and to employers to work more against their will, to take second and third jobs against their desire and their own autonomy,” she said.
Ocasio-Cortez was responding to criticism from Rep. Jake LaTurner (R-Kan.), who slammed Democrats for focusing on abortion rather than inflation.
“The idea that abortion and access to abortion is somehow not a profound and central economic and class issue and class struggle is certainly something that I think a person who has never had to contend with the ability to carry a child — it belies that perspective,” Ocasio-Cortez retorted.
Abortion has emerged front-and-center as a campaign issue ahead of midterm elections this fall after the Supreme Court struck down the landmark 1973 ruling Roe v. Wade, which legalized the procedure nationwide.
US companies largely avoided taking a position on the highly divisive issue, though several blue-chip corporations announced that they would be reimbursing employees’ travel expenses if they needed to go out of state to get the procedure.
The high court’s abortion ruling has apparently galvanized Democratic voters, giving the party a fighting chance to keep control of Congress, according to recent polls.
Earlier predictions had Republicans cruising to a decisive victory in the midterm elections thanks to record-high levels of inflation that has driven up the cost of living nationwide.