White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre dodged questions about Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams’ claims that abortion can help alleviate inflation Wednesday.
Fox News White House Correspondent Peter Doocy noted that President Biden has endorsed Abrams and asked whether he stood by Abrams’ comments. Jean-Pierre refused to respond, saying she hadn’t heard about the viral incident. Abrams came under fire Wednesday for her comments on MSNBC.
“In Georgia, the president’s endorsed candidate for governor, Stacey Abrams, is suggesting that one way to mitigate the effects of inflation is to get an abortion,” Doocy said. “Does President Biden agree?”
“Uh, I did not see her comments on this, so I don’t know the context of this,” Jean-Pierre responded. “Again, I want to be careful. This is a political debate, and it is related to a midterm — an election — so this is … I’m not going to comment on that.”
Abrams made her original comments during a Wednesday morning appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” Hosts questioned her about why she was focusing so heavily on abortion when polls overwhelmingly show that the economy and inflation are the issues voters say they care most about. Inflation was up 8.2% in September compared to last year, hovering near the 40-year high of 8.3% the U.S. first hit in April.
“But let’s be clear: Having children is why you’re worried about your price for gas. It’s why you’re concerned about how much food costs,” Abrams said. “For women, this is not a reductive issue. You can’t divorce being forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy from the economic realities of having a child. And so these are — it’s important for us to have ‘both and’ conversations. We don’t have the luxury of reducing it or separating them out.
“Right now we are walking away so often from the real issues that people care about. Abortion is an economic issue. It’s been reduced to this idea of a culture war. But for women in Georgia, this is very much a question of whether they’re going to end up in poverty in the next five years because women who are forced to carry unwanted pregnancies end up within poverty. They’re four times more likely to be impoverished in five years.”
Abrams faced heavy criticism on social media for the comments.
“Despicable. I can’t believe this needs to be said, but ending a human life is not the solution for inflation,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, wrote.
Dan McLaughlin, a senior writer at the National Review, said, “I didn’t really expect Democrats to go with, ‘You know, it’s cheaper to feed your family if you kill a few of them’ as a closing argument, yet here we are.”
Fox News’ Hanna Panreck contributed to this report.