Republican Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce Resigns After Saying Women On Medicaid Should Be Sterilized
Former Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce resigned from his position as the states's Republican Party's first vice chairman on Sunday after receiving a storm of criticism over his recent statements about sterilizing poor women.
Pearce, who is also the architect behind Arizona's infamous anti-immigration S.B. 1070, known as the "Show Me Your Papers" law, received major backlash after he made offensive comments about women on Medicaid.
"You put me in charge of Medicaid, the first thing I'd do is get a woman Norplant, birth-control implants or tubal ligations. Then, we'll test recipients for drugs and alcohol and nicotine. If you want to (reproduce) or use drugs or alcohol, then get a job," he said on his radio program, according to according to the Phoenix New Times.
He added that "people out there [who] need help" should get it from "family, church, and community," not the government.
Later on, he blamed the media for using this "mistake" against him, and stated that he was reading comments that were "written by someone else" and that he "failed to attribute them to the author," reports the Washington Post. "This mistake has been taken by the media and the left and used to hurt our Republican candidates."
Still, several Republican candidates running for 2014 state races for governor, secretary of state and attorney general, condemned Pearce for the remarks, reports the Arizona Republic reports.
According to political experts, the Republican backlash was made in fear that Democrats could use the comments as evidence that the party is waging a "war on women" in wake of upcoming elections, reports AZ Central.
"Unfortunately it takes kind of an embarrassment for these Republican candidates to distance themselves from Russell Pearce," Arizona Democratic Party Executive Director DJ Quinlan told The Huffington Post.
Republican Party activist Parralee Schneider of Tucson was appointed by the chairman of the Arizona Republican Party to fill Pearce's position as vice chair.
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