Conservatives Blast Pelosi’s Defense of Contraception Spending in Stimulus Bill

By Josiah Ryan and Susan Jones | January 27, 2009 | 6:37 AM EST

President Barack Obama discusses the economy with House and Senate at the White House on Friday, Jan. 23, 2009. From left are, House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif.; the president; and Reid. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

( – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was criticized on Monday for saying that taxpayer money for contraception would save the states money.
"At a time of financial crisis, Nancy Pelosi's solution is to kill future taxpayers," said the American Life League.
“Pelosi defended contraception as part of the stimulus,” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) told at the National Press Club. “It has to rate as one of the weirdest defenses in history -- ‘no children would lead to a better economy because there would be nobody to cost anything and therefore governing expenses are going down.’ You have to admit that’s very strange,” said Gingrich
In a taped interview with ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos,” Pelosi defended the $200 million allocated for family planning services in the Democrats’ stimulus package.
“Family planning services reduce cost,” said Pelosi when Stephanopoulos asked how hundreds of millions of dollars for family services could be considered stimulus.
“They reduce cost,” Pelosi repeated. “The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children's health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those -- one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.”
“So no apologies for that?” asked Stephanopoulos.
”No apologies,” replied Pelosi. “We have to deal with the consequences of the downturn in our economy.”
Children a burden?
“In other words, children are a burden to the economy, and Pelosi believes it's the government's responsibility to eliminate them,” said the Family Research Council.
“More than anything, her comments underscore the shortsightedness of these liberal policies,” the FRC said in a news release. “If Pelosi and her Congress continue to deemphasize the family, America will travel even farther down the deadly path of our European friends,” whose birth rate is plunging.
And if Congress continues to spend and spend, the nation will need more children – not fewer – to help pay for Social Security, Medicaid, and other government entitlements that Democrats hope to expand, the FRC said.
“Obviously, there's a practical danger in suggesting that babies are problems or ‘punishments’ (as President Obama called them) instead of blessings that build bridges to the future,” the FRC concluded.
"Pelosi has described herself as 'an ardent, practicing Catholic,'” the American Life League said in its news release.
“’But ardent, practicing Catholics do not treat destruction of human beings and human dignity as an economic stimulus plan. They do not see the death of countless preborn Americans through the use of abortifacient birth control as an opportunity to 'reduce state costs.'"
According to the Associated Press, House Democrats are expected to eliminate the family planning funds from the stimulus bill, at the urging of President Barack Obama.
Several officials told the A.P. that a final decision was expected on Tuesday, when Obama’s visits Republicans on Capitol Hill.
Several Democrats said Monday night that Obama had spoken personally with Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) about removing the provision. Waxman is chairman of the committee with jurisdiction over Medicaid and is a close ally of Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
(The Associated Press contributed some of the information used in this report.)