On May 1, Democrat US Senate candidate Theresa Greenfield, a corporate real estate broker from Minnesota, received the endorsement of a group called Population Connection. Iowa Field Report has found that the group has called for more abortions to control the global population, the ending of pig farming, and high taxes on families to punish them for their “irresponsible breeding.”
“I’m proud to have the support of Population Connection Action Fund and look forward to working with them..” said Greenfield in a press release celebrating the endorsement issued by Population Connection.
Not long after the endorsement, on May 18, Federal Election Commission records indicate that the Population Connection Action Fund donated $2,500 to Theresa Greenfield’s campaign.
Population Connection claims to be the nation’s largest and oldest grassroots population organization, advocating for abortion and against environmental degradation. However, an investigation by Iowa Field Report has found that the group promotes positions that are almost certainly at odds with a majority of Iowa voters.
According to their website, Population Connection, formerly known as Zero Population Growth (ZPG) advocated for population control in the way of smaller families so environmental degradation would not occur. To that goal, they currently support taxpayer funding for abortions and advocate for an end to the Hyde Amendment. They called abortion “an extremely common and relatively minor medical procedure.”
First introduced in 1977 by Congressman Henry Hyde, the Hyde Amendment prevents the use of federal funds for abortion except when the life of the woman would be endangered by carrying the pregnancy to term.
Iowa Field Report also found that Population Connection held a number of other positions over the years. In the book titled “Before Roe v. Wade,” Pulitzer Prize-winning author Linda Greenhouse and Reva Siege profile Population Connection’s history and controversial advocacy positions.
The book includes reprints with their blessing of Population Connection’s literature, which includes the statements “that no responsible family should have more than two children” and that “irresponsible people who have more than two children should be taxed to the hilt for the privilege of irresponsible breeding.”
(Linda Greenhouse and Reva Siegel, “Before Roe v. Wade,” Yale Law School, 2012)
In the book Population bomb, written by the group’s founder bluntly endorsed abortion as “a highly effective weapon in the armory of population control” and held up postwar Japan “where abortion was widely available and where the birthrate had been cut in half,” as an example to be emulated.
In an Earth Day post, published last year Population Connection says that “Raising Livestock = Bad News for the Environment.”
Just a few days ago Population Connection responded to the recent NYT Opinion piece “The End of Meat is Here,” saying: “Thanks for writing about this – absolutely vital for addressing the #climatecrisis.”
In educational materials geared towards children, Population Connection outlined what it called a “Pig Problem,” claiming “Farm workers and surrounding communities may experience adverse health effects” from pig farming.
The group’s views on agriculture run counter to the image Greenfield is attempting to portray in her campaign material, including the most recent television ad that has her visiting a pig farm. According to the Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa is the largest pork producing state in the country, with more than 6,200 pig farms supporting 141,813 jobs. It is unclear from Greenfield’s website what here views are on ending pig or other livestock farming.
Iowa Field Report has reached out to the Greenfield campaign for comment on the article and to inquire about which of the positions detailed above she agrees with and how she managed to balance those positions if they run counter to the people she intends to represent.
Greenfield enjoys the support of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Chuck Schumer-aligned super PAC, Senate Majority Fund. Greenfield is running for the Democratic nomination against four others; Michael Franken of Sioux City, Kimberly Graham of Indianola, and Eddie Mauro of Des Moines. The primary election is June 2nd.