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Lawmaker rapped for birth control talk

NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 29 (UPI) -- A Louisiana state representative has generated controversy with his proposal to offer poor women money for voluntary sterilization.

State Rep. John LaBruzzo, R-Metairie, said his idea to offer impoverished women $1,000 to undergo a tubal ligation came after hurricanes Katrina and Gustav, when the state was forced to evacuate, house and care for tens of thousands of people, New Orleans City Business reported Monday.

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LaBruzzo said if his research finds the number of people on welfare has increased on a dramatic basis during the past several decades, he may introduce a bill during the next legislative session that would promote voluntary sterilization for monetary compensation.

However, Shana Griffin, interim director of the New Orleans Women's Health Clinic, said LaBruzzo is targeting welfare recipients and those dependent on city-assisted evacuation.

"If someone doesn't have a car and needs to utilize city-assisted evacuation -- that makes them a social burden?" Griffin said. "If we really want to improve the lives of people in our communities, we would think about raising the minimum wage, holistic healthcare, improving labor laws, employment opportunities for all people and the educational system."

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