Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) suggested Wednesday that the U.S. government could subject thousands of unaccompanied migrant children crossing the Texas-Mexico border to “medical experimentation.”
“We have 400,000 foster children in this country, and now President Obama is trying to bring all of those foreign nationals, the illegal aliens, to the country and he has said that he will put them in the foster care system,” Bachmann said during an interview on “WallBuilders Live,” as recorded by Right Wing Watch. “Well, I will tell you from personal experience, we don’t have enough foster parents now in the country for the kids in America. We certainly don’t have enough foster parents for all of the illegal aliens that the President is trying to bring in right now.”
Bachmann was appearing on the program to promote “Justina’s Law,” legislation she introduced that would ban federal funding for treatment or research that presents “greater than minimal risk” for children who are wards of the state. The law was inspired by a Connecticut teenager named Justina Pelletier, who spent 16 months in custody of the state of Massachusetts after two Boston hospitals gave two different diagnoses for her unusual symptoms. Her parents were accused of medical child abuse after disputing one of the hospital’s diagnoses.
Bachmann went on to suggest that putting migrant children into the foster care system would offer hospitals more subjects to use for medical research, as she accused Boston Children’s Hospital of doing to Pelletier.
“That’s more kids that you can see how — we can’t imagine doing this, but if you have a hospital and they are going to get millions of dollars in government grants if they can conduct medical research on somebody, and a ward of the state can’t say ‘no,'” she said. “A little kid can’t say ‘no’ if they’re a ward of the state. So here you could have this institution getting millions of dollars from our government to do medical experimentation and a kid can’t even say ‘no.’ It’s sick.”
Bachmann’s spokesman Dan Kotman insisted Thursday in an email to TPM that “as a foster mom of 23,” the congresswoman’s concern was “that our foster care system, which is already short on foster care parents, would not have the capacity to handle this surge of unaccompanied children. … Your sensational headline is a gross misrepresentation of what she actually said and what Justina’s Law actually does.” The spokesman’s statement did not address Bachmann’s claims of “medical experimentation.”
This post has been updated.