BC Liberal candidate Laurie Throness has stepped down following comments he made earlier this week comparing free contraception to eugenics.
When asked about the BC NDP's pledge to provide free prescribed contraception such as birth control, Throness responded:
“The other thing that I feel about this is that it contains a whiff of the old eugenics thing where, you know, poor people shouldn’t have babies,” he said.
“And so we can’t force them to have contraception, so we’ll give it to them for free. And maybe they’ll have fewer babies. So there will be fewer poor people in the future.”
Eugenics is the widely condemned belief that the genetic quality of a human population can be improved by discouraging people and groups judged to be inferior from having children.
On Thursday, party leader Andrew Wilkinson confirmed that the Liberals had not fired Throness, but that he had resigned as a candidate.
“Earlier today, I spoke with Laurie Throness. He accepted that his comments were wrong and inappropriate, and I’ve accepted his offer to resign as the candidate for Chilliwack-Kent," said Wilkinson in a statement.
“The BC Liberal Party is dedicated to a diversity of perspectives, but all party members must be dedicated to inclusion and equality – that is not up for debate.
“We’ll continue to move forward with the rest of our team and continue to work hard to earn each and every vote."
The BC NDP initiated the call to fire Throness, arguing his comments fit in with a pattern of previous remarks regarding the LGBTQ2 community.
However, the negative reactions didn't just come from the opposition with several members of the BC Liberal party denouncing his comments.
Laurie Throness in no way represents what I believe.— Matt Pitcairn (@MPitcairn) October 15, 2020
I find this language totally unacceptable.
To compare contraception to eugenics is contemptible and deeply offensive.
I will not stand by and abide such remarks.
Investing and advocating in women’s health - including free contraception - is something I support 100%. The repugnant comments made by Laurie Throness do not match my values. #bcpoli https://t.co/U8MND8jPC2— Todd Stone (@toddstonebc) October 15, 2020
Throness, who was the Official Opposition Critic for Children and Family Development, was also one of 14 BC Liberal MLAs that expensed taxpayer dollars over the past 18 months on ads in a self-described “Christian lifestyle magazine” called The Light Magazine.