Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said Sept. 4 that he strongly supports the use of abortion for birth control in poor countries around the world. These controversial statements generated widespread rejection from various social and political sectors.

Sanders said that in response to Martha Readyoff, a teacher, who asked him if he would make birth control an important part of his government’s plan, Sanders answered “Yes,” according to CNN.

“So I think, especially in poor countries around the world where women do not necessarily want to have large numbers of babies and where they can have the opportunity through birth control to control the number of kids they have, it’s something I very strongly support,” said Sanders, who is also a senator from the state of Vermont.

Sanders alluded to the Mexico City agreement, a U.S. government rule that prohibits foreign organizations receiving federal aid from performing abortions, even with funds from other sources.

The socialist leader’s controversial proposal drew strong criticism from politicians, journalists and conservative sectors.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) joked that the candidate had linked his campaign to Thanos, an evil Marvel character who destroys half the world’s population.

 “In a surprise move, last night Bernie announced Thanos as his running mate,” Ted Cruz said, according to the BBC.

CNN presenter Sarah Elizabeth Cupp also described Sanders as someone who upholds the racist ideology of eugenics, according to one of her tweets.

“Let’s just state for the record: talking about needing “population control” through ABORTION for the sake of CLIMATE is talking about EUGENICS. The fact that @BernieSanders is willing to entertain this vile idea is not only disgusting, it should be disqualifying,” Cupp shared.

In another comment, conservative writer Liz Wheeler said, “Imagine being so disgusting that you want to force Americans to pay for abortions to kill brown babies in foreign countries so you don’t feel guilty flying private jets and visiting communist nations.”

These are samples of the widespread rejection generated by the statements of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.