Pro-life advocate Babette Holder is calling on Illinois state Rep. Dianne Pappas to be formally reprimanded for saying men should be castrated to end abortion.
Holder, an African American pro-life advocate and president of the Frederick Douglass Foundation, told the DuPage Policy Journal that Pappas’ comments are not acceptable.
“She needs to be censored,” Holder said. “There needs to be accountability when you make these kinds of statements, and you’re supposed to be a public servant.”
Pappas is a pro-abortion Democrat in favor of House Bill 2495, which would classify abortion as a “fundamental right” and remove protections for both unborn babies and medical professionals who oppose abortion. If passed, the bill would make Illinois the least-restrictive state in the nation for abortion.
Last month, pro-lifers met with Pappas to discuss the controversial legislation. In two separate conversations, Pappas is said to have told her constituents that castrating men would help end abortions.
Jackie Hayden, a pro-life Republican from Pappas’ district, was present during one of those conversations and reported what Pappas is alleged to have said.
“You know ladies, with technology the way it is, we wouldn’t have an abortion problem if we applied a plan,” said Pappas, according to Hayden’s account.
“Now, I’ve been told it’s a bit radical,” Pappas is said to have continued, “but if we allowed men to be castrated, took the sperm to the bank, collected tax dollars on it for storage, then when it’s time, to have the man decide he’s ready to begin a family…. well then, problem is solved!”
Hayden was also contacted by another constituent, who claimed Pappas made similar remarks about castrating men at a separate meeting.
"She said the same thing to us when we met with her in Springfield a couple of weeks ago," the anonymous source said. "I belong to Holy Ghost Parish in Wood Dale, which is in her district. A couple of parishioners were meeting with her. Wonder if she told them the same thing?"
Hayden said that although she and her pro life group of supporters tried to keep politics out of their meeting with Pappas, she soon realized they would not be changing her position.
“Thinking back on this, and seeing the faces of the women who were with me, didn't leave me speechless but agitated,” Hayden added. “Anything bipartisan, just went out the door with that comment.”
Hayden recalled how Pappas went on to insist that debating HB 2495 was a moot issue, because the legislation was dead and wouldn’t be up for review for at least another year.
“Well, I checked the status and, as of March 29, it's currently in the powerful rules committee, and we know how that can go,” Hayden added. “Planned Parenthood is pushing hard for the passage of this bill. Diane Pappas feels that there are more important bills at stake, such as the progressive tax, the legalization of marijuana and education.”
Hayden said the situation with Pappas has left her as motivated as ever to continue fighting against HB 2495.
“We will be organizing again shortly,” she wrote. “Personal PAC is going to hold a pro choice event May 1 in Springfield. If you are as outraged by this event as we were, keep your eye out for more information. It is important for us to keep up the pressure on those who were elected to represent us.”
Holder said she believes the first-year lawmaker’s remarks about men were rooted in racism, and should be formally condemned.
“It has racist overtones, especially at a time when there is actually a debate about reparations,” Holder said.
So far, Pappas has declined to respond to media requests for comment.