Tim Scott handles Janet Yellen ‘whitesplaining’ importance of abortion

(Video: CNBC)

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen declared at a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Tuesday that overturning Roe v. Wade “would have very damaging effects on the economy and would set women back decades,” and would negatively impact labor force participation rates.

The stance provoked a spirited response from South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim Scott, who shared this quote from Yellen: “Ultimately, increasing access to abortion and reproductive health care allows for our labor force participation rate to continue to increase, denying women access to abortion increases their odds of living in poverty or a need for public assistance.”

“Just from the clarity’s sake, did you say that ending the life of a child is good for the labor force participation rate?” he asked.

“As a guy who was raised by a single mom who worked long hours to keep us out of poverty, I think people can disagree on the issue of being pro-life or pro-abortion, but in the end, I think framing it in the context of labor force participation just feels calloused to me,” Scott added. “I think finding a way to have a debate around abortion in a meaning for the economic stability of our country is harsh. And I’m just surprised that we find ways to weave into every facet of our lives such an important and painful reality for so many people. To make it sound like it’s just another 0.4% added to our labor force participation as a result of the issue of abortion, just to me seems harsh.”

Yellen replied, “Well, I certainly don’t mean to say what I think the effects are in a manner that’s harsh. What we are talking about is whether or not women will have the ability to regulate their reproductive situation in ways that will enable them to plan lives that are fulfilling and satisfying for them. And one aspect of a satisfying life is being able to feel that you have the financial resources to raise a child, that the children you bring into the world are wanted, and that you have the ability to take care of them.”

“In many cases, the abortions are of teenage women, particularly low-income and often black who aren’t in a position to be able to care for children, have unexpected pregnancies, and it deprives them of the ability, often, to continue their education, to later participate in the workforce, so there is a spillover into labor force participation,” she continued. “It does mean the children will grow up in poverty and do worse themselves.”

The remark prompted Scott to drop this truth bomb, “I’ll just simply say that as a guy raised by a black woman in abject poverty, I am thankful to be here as a United States senator.”

Taking to Twitter after the hearing, Scott stated: “The American Dream is one of hope and opportunity. We should be having conversations about economic policies that ensure everyone—including single moms and their kids—have access to that dream. Sec. Yellen’s comments today don’t meet that mark.”

Here are a few other responses to the story from Twitter:

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