State Lawmaker Opposes Prenatal Care for ‘Anchor Embryos’

August 23, 2010

(ChattahBox)—The xenophobic right-wing has already demagogued about so-called “anchor babies” and even the ridiculous made-up tale of “terror babies.” But it took a conservative state Democratic lawmaker from Rhode Island to take the conversation to a whole new bigoted and offensive level, with an attack on “anchor embryos.” Really, what’s wrong with people?

State Rep. Peter Palumbo from Cranston, or as locals say “Craaanstuhn,” has taken on the hordes of undocumented immigrants supposedly drawn to the Ocean State. Palumbo has introduced an anti-immigration billed modeled on Arizona’s that already has been partially stayed by a federal judge on constitutional grounds.

Palumbo explains on his website that he “just snapped” when Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer was criticized for promoting the bigoted “show me your papers” law.

The conservative lawmaker contends Rhode Island is “under attack” from undocumented immigrants. In Palumbo’s mind, the illegal hordes are “coming in quickly.”

Everyone agrees something needs to be done … I’m trying to show the people in Arizona that there are more people in support of them, than against them,” said Palumbo.

So, in light of his heated anti-immigration rhetoric, it should come as no surprise, that when appearing on Fox News’ On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, to talk about his anti-immigration efforts, he said something derogatory.

“We’ve all heard of anchor babies. We have something unique to Rhode Island, and they’re called anchor embryos. And what it is is a policy that we have in the state of Rhode Island — if you’re an illegal alien woman and you’re pregnant and you come to Rhode Island, you go to the Department of Human Services — the first thing you have to do is tell them that you’re an illegal alien and you’re pregnant and the Department of Human Services will offer you, do you want Blue Cross, United, or Neighborhood Health.”

As pointed out by Think Progress, Rhode Island, along with several other states, offers prenatal care to poor pregnant women, even if they are here illegally, because their child would become an American citizen. Besides the obvious public health issues of providing needed health care to ensure a safe and health pregnancy, it’s inherently mean-spirited to deny care to our future citizens.

But nativist lawmakers like Palumbo would rather put pregnant women and their babies at risk, to make a misguided political point during an election season.


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