A Massachusetts Democrat is being asked to resign after expressing concern that pro-life crisis pregnancy centers could miss a birth defect in an unborn child, allowing them to be born disabled and become a drain on school budgets.
Abortions are NOT an "alternative" to the cost of providing special education for children with Down syndrome, as Massachusetts Democrat Michael Hugo recently implied.
We join advocates for children with disabilities in calling for his resignation: https://t.co/n71wzh31n1 pic.twitter.com/dgDvmqfdWq
— SBA Pro-Life America (@sbaprolife) February 24, 2023
The shocking statement was made by Michael Hugo, the chairman of the Framingham Democratic Committee, during a city council meeting on February 7.
While discussing a proclamation about access to abortion and crisis pregnancy centers in the city, Hugo argued that these pro-life pregnancy centers could misdiagnose a defect in an unborn baby and prevent the child from experiencing the violence of abortion — which he claimed would ultimately lead to increased special education costs.
“Our fear is that if an unqualified sonographer misdiagnoses a heart defect, an organ defect, spina bifida or an encephalopathic defect that becomes a very local issue because our school budget will have to absorb the cost of a child in special education, supplying lots and lots of special services to children, who were born with the defect,” Hugo said, according to Fox News.
The Democrat official issued a public apology after 10 days of intense backlash from both sides of the aisle, acknowledging that his remarks were “offensive and hurtful.”
“I am writing to offer my most sincere and humble apology to members of the Framingham Democratic Committee, but more especially my fellow members of Framingham’s disability family community, for comments that I made at the last City Council meeting which were offensive and hurtful,” Hugo wrote.
Despite his apology, there have been calls for Hugo’s resignation.
“I think he should immediately step down,” said Jon Fetherston, a special needs advocate and registered Republican from Massachusetts.
“As a parent of an autistic child, I read those comments and go ‘what?’” Fetherston added. “A peer of mine thinks that I should’ve aborted my child because he was going to be a burden to a school budget?”
Laura Green, a disability advocate in Framingham, told Fox News that she does not accept Hugo’s apology.
“I feel that it was generic and lackluster. I feel like after a statement like that is made, you can’t just pretend that it didn’t happen or take it back because it’s damaging to a community of people,” Green said. “The disability community is the only minority group that you can become a part of at any time.”
Hugo also claimed that other members of the Framingham Democratic Committee, despite the fact that they had been sent out the night before the meeting.
Students for Life president Kristan Hawkins, the mother of two children with cystic fibrosis, condemned Hugo’s disturbing comments.
“This is discrimination plain and simple,” Hawkins said. “I think people who say that the sick cost too much for our society better find the fountain of youth real quick because someday that’s going to be them. It’s going to be their family members.”
“This is eugenics, this is eugenics in 2023 America, this is an argument that sadly we’ve heard before and throughout American history, just regurgitated using a bunch of fancy lingo or support for abortion,” she added.
Sheryl Goldstein, the chair of the Framingham Disabilities Commission, also spoke out about Hugo’s remarks.
“I saw what Michael had said as a personal attack against my own children,” she said. “That my children who had special needs were not worth the expense in the school system.”