By David A. Lieb
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo., Nov. 13 -- A Republican-led legislative panel says in a new report on illegal immigration that abortion is partly to blame because it is causing a shortage of American workers.
The report from the state House Special Committee on Immigration Reform also says that "liberal social welfare policies" have discouraged Americans from working and have encouraged immigrants to cross the border illegally.
The statements about abortion and welfare policies, along with a recommendation to abolish income taxes in favor of sales taxes, were inserted into the immigration report by Rep. Edgar G.H. Emery (R), the panel's chairman.
All 10 Republican committee members signed the report, while the six Democrats did not. Some of the Democrats called the abortion assertion ridiculous and embarrassing.
"There's a lot of editorial comment there that I couldn't really stomach," Rep. Trent Skaggs said Monday. "To be honest, I think it's a little delusional."
Emery, who equates abortion to murder, defended the assertions.
"We hear a lot of arguments today that the reason that we can't get serious about our borders is that we are desperate for all these workers," he said. "You don't have to think too long. If you kill 44 million of your potential workers, it's not too surprising we would be desperate for workers."
National Right to Life estimates that there have been more than 47 million abortions since the Supreme Court established a woman's right to an abortion in its 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling. The immigration report estimates that there are 80,000 fewer Missourians because of abortion, many of whom now would have been in a "highly productive age group for workers."
The statement connecting abortion to illegal immigration was listed under the report's recommendations on federal social policies and potential state legislative action on illegal hiring.
"Suggestions for how to stop illegal hiring varied without any simple solution," the report states. "The lack of traditional work ethic, combined with the effects of 30 years of abortion and expanding liberal social welfare policies have produced a shortage of workers and a lack of incentive for those who can work."