U.S. Representative David Eastman (R-Alaska) sparked outrage this week when he suggested that there are potential economic benefits of sexually abused children dying because they will no longer require government assistance.
Eastman’s shocking remarks came during a House Judiciary Committee hearing that was centered on the deleterious long-term effects that being sexually abused has on children,
The Anchorage Daily News reports.
The hearing included a presentation of economic data showing that an abused child “could cost the family and broader society $1.5 million in terms of trauma and what the child could potentially have earned over their lifetime,” the newspaper noted.
In response, Eastman started asking if society might save money if the child were to simply die instead of remaining alive to be a burden on society.
“It can be 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,” he said.
Trevor Storrs, president and CEO of the Alaska Children’s Trust, was immediately taken aback by Eastman’s remarks.
“Can you say that again?” he asked. “Did you say, ‘a benefit for society?’”
Storrs went on to explain that the death of a child is an “unmeasurable” loss to the family, regardless of what the government might save in terms of payments for services as a result.
“The controversial congressman is a member of the Oath Keepers militia and was present in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021. However, there is no evidence linking him to any violence that took place at the Capitol on that day,” the report states.