GOP leader in Arizona resigns after saying he would sterilize women on Medicaid

Posted at 11:26 AM, Sep 16, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-16 13:50:31-04

Radio host and recalled Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce resigned as first vice chairman of the state Republican Party Sunday, after making controversial comments about sterilizing poor women.

“You put me in charge of Medicaid, the first thing I’d do is get Norplant, birth-control implants, or tubal ligations," Pearce said during a recent radio show. "Then we’ll test recipients for drugs and alcohol, and if you want to [reproduce] or use drugs or alcohol, then get a job.”

The comments were widely criticized by people in both parties, leading Pearse to step down from his position.

"Recently on my radio show there was a discussion about the abuses to our welfare system," he said in a statement. "I shared comments written by someone else and failed to attribute them to the author. This was a mistake."

"I do not want the progressive left and the media to try and take a misstatement from my show and use it to attack our candidates," Pearse said. "I care about the Republican party and its conservative platform too much to let them do that."