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A GOP Congressman From Alaska Has Been Censured After Claiming That Child Abuse Deaths Are ‘Actually A Benefit To Society’

By the very nature of the American political system, there are at least two sides to any one argument. And while the current Republican party has been known to seemingly support all sorts of wild shenanigans (see: January 6), you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone to stand behind David Eastman. As the Associated Press reports, the Alaska congressman was censured by his state’s House following his comments that kids who die as a result of child abuse are “actually a benefit to society.”

On Monday, Trevor Storrs — president and CEO of the Alaska Children’s Trust, an NGO that works to “ensure all Alaskan children and youth have the tools and resources necessary to grow up safe and healthy” — was testifying during a committee hearing about adverse childhood experiences when Eastman made his now-infamous statement. The congressman wanted to know Storrs thoughts on “the argument that I have heard on occasion where, in the case where child abuse is fatal, obviously it’s not good for the child, but it’s actually a benefit to society.” Because — gulp — that child would no longer require the government services they might need if they had actually survived at the hand of their abuser(s).

It took Storrs, who was visibly taken aback (as you can see in the video above), a moment to actually process the comment. So much so that he asked him to repeat the question: “Did you say, ‘a benefit for society?’”

Eastman responded:

“Talking dollars… for victims of fatal child abuse, it gets argued periodically that it’s actually a cost savings because that child is not going to need any of those government services that they might otherwise be entitled to receive and need based on growing up in this type of environment.”

On Wednesday, two days after the hearing, Alaska’s House of Representatives voted to censure Eastman in a 35-1 vote. The one member who voted against censuring the congressman? Eastman himself.

The AP reports that it’s not Eastman’s first censure rodeo. In 2017, the controversial congressman was censured following his insistence that women in Alaska were doing their darndest to get pregnant in order to take advantage of a government-funded “free to the city” for an abortion.

Sounds like Sarah Palin may have soon some competition for being Alaska’s most notorious lawmaker.

(Via Associated Press)