A New Hampshire Republican lawmaker said last week that he strongly opposed a bill drafted by local fourth-graders to establish the Red-Tailed Hawk as the “State Raptor” because the predator bird reminds him of an abortion provider.
The hawk “grasps them with its talons then uses its razor-sharp beak to basically tear it apart limb by limb,” State Rep. Warren Groen (R) said on the House floor as the class of 10-year-old students watched from the gallery. “And I guess the shame about making this a state bird is it would serve as a much better mascot for Planned Parenthood.”
The fourth-graders from Lincoln Akerman School in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire, had drafted House Bill 373 as part of a lesson on how politics work. Lawmakers rejected the bill in front of the students by a vote of 133 to 160, with some arguing that the legislation was unnecessary.
“Do we need a state waterfowl, a state pet bird, a state wild bird?” Groen told The Huffington Post in a phone interview. “How many types of birds do we need?”
Groen said he directed the abortion metaphor at the adults in the room, not at the kids, although he knew the students were there watching. “The selective outrage about this I find quite curious,” he said. “Every week in Manchester, the fourth-grade class from 2025 is killed out. Babies that would be 10 years old and in fourth grade 10 years from now are aborted in Manchester, and there’s no outrage.”
Jodi Linnehan Kriner, who is a mother of one of the students and was in the gallery during Groen’s remarks, wrote in a letter to lawmakers Wednesday that as a lifelong resident of the state, “I am ashamed of these people we call our representatives.”
“If any rep can tell me how I should answer a question that was asked to me last night by my 10 year old son, Andrew, please let me know. He asked ‘Mom, what does planned parenthood have to do with the red tailed hawk tearing apart its prey, and why should it be the mascot?'” she wrote.
Jim Cutter, the teacher of the fourth-grade class, was not immediately available for comment.
Source: Huff Post