American Conservative Union chairman Matt Schlapp on Thursday told a gathering of right-wing activists that banning abortion and forcing women to carry unwanted pregnancies to term would be a good way to boost birth rates of “our own people” and stave off the “great replacement” many Republicans and white supremacists fear will result from increased levels of immigration to the United States.
The former George W Bush aide was speaking in Budapest, where the ACU is holding an edition of its Conservative Political Action Conference in hopes of promoting greater ties between the Republican Party and Hungarian authoritarian leader Viktor Orban’s right-wing government.
The ACU and the Hungarian group it is co-hosting the right-wing conference with have banned all legitimate Western media outlets from covering the event, where Mr Orban was a featured speaker.
According to Vice News, Mr Schlapp discussed the racist conspiracy theory while speaking to reporters outside the conference venue.
Asked whether he agreed with Mr Orban’s claim that Europe is “committing suicide” by allowing non-white immigration, Mr Schlapp reportedly responded: “Roe v Wade is being adjudicated at the Supreme Court right now, for people that believe that we somehow need to replace populations or bring in new workers, I think it is an appropriate first step to give the…enshrinement in law the right to life for our own unborn children.”
Asked to clarify whether he was, in fact, endorsing a conspiracy theory which has been promulgated by many prominent racists both in the US and abroad, he initially claimed abortion and immigration were “separate issues” but embraced the idea that an abortion ban could increase birth rates among “our own people” moments later.
“If you say there is a population problem in a country, but you’re killing millions of your own people through legalized abortion every year, if that were to be reduced, some of that problem is solved,” he said. “You have millions of people who can take many of these jobs. How come no one brings that up? If you’re worried about this quote-unquote replacement, why don’t we start there? Start with allowing our own people to live.”
Mr Schlapp, who is white, did not say what he meant by “our people,” but when viewed in the context of the “great replacement” conspiracy theory, it has been claimed that he was referring to white children as “our people”.
Asked if he believes in the “great replacement” theory, Mr Schlapp said “one of the marks on our history” was “the idea of turning a blind eye to the millions of children who were not allowed to live and could have lived wonderful, beautiful lives and could have contributed in ways we’ll never really understand”.
“That to me is what is the most interesting thing the left doesn’t bring up when they talk about criticism of this theory,” he continued, though he added the caveat that he did not know if was “an expert” on the racist theory but has “certainly read a couple of articles about it”.
Mr Schlapp also denied that there was any link between last week’s mass shooting in Buffalo and the “great replacement” theory, despite the alleged shooter penning a long manifesto in which he explicitly claimed to be targeting “replacers” who were taking the place of white Americans.
“Clearly they were very troubled and I think it is a mistake to jump to some kind of philosophy or journal entry for us to give some sort of political answer in our society,” he said.
When reached by text message and asked if he wanted to clarify whether he believes in the “great replacement” theory, Mr Schlapp told The Independent: “I don’t know enough about the theory to comment,” adding a caveat that he believes declining populations are ”big problem for free economies”.
“Hungary has seen a big decline in abortions which is positive on so many fronts. I also hope America will see fewer abortions if roe v wade is overturned,” he said. “Valuing life can also be good economics”.
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