Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sterilization by the State

This Dec. 9, 2011 article in the New York Times, North Carolina's Eugenic Past, is highly recommended to you.  I have been looking at this issue for a number of years.  One of the ironies of the article's appearance in the New York Times is that the Eugenics movement was a largely an offshoot of the Progressive Movement, a movement which the NYT most certainly clings to with ideological blinders. It would be surprising that the NYT would print such an article but for the fact that the editors either do not know the history of the movement or they think that most people would not be aware of its roots. Eugenic sterilization was promoted by Margaret Sanger and eugenics was her reason for founding the Birth Control League, which became Planned Parenthood.  Her motives were racist to the core.  For more information check out  I am not sure of everything that one finds on that site because I have not read everything there, but there is a good bit of information about the racism behind abortion and birth control.  I have found the site to be informative.

State enforced sterilization was upheld as constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Buck v. Bell, 1927.  In the opinion of the court, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., himself a Progressive, wrote, "Three generations of imbeciles is enough." This comment is striking because the eugenics movement held that poverty, crime, etc., --that is to say, all the so-called undesirable types-- could be wiped out in three generations.

Pope Pius XI was among the most prominent and reasoned critics of the eugenic sterilization movement.  Of course, he saw immediately the relationship between the eugenics movement and the rise of socialism in Europe and the United States.  For the benefit of the social whole, sterilize and kill the "less desirables."

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