Can there be a democracy or freedom without abortion? The simple answer should be yes. After all, there is no greater freedom than the right to live. However, certain pro-abortion politicians have pushed the idea that true liberty can be narrowed down to two issues: voting and abortion.
But the intentional ending of a preborn baby’s life is not a reflection of the principles to which this country was founded, but instead of a relic of the horrific practice of eugenics.
In the late 1800s, Francis Galton, who was a cousin of the infamous evolutionist Charles Darwin, posited that the human race could be improved through selective breeding. The way to achieve this is to make sure that the healthiest humans and those with the most desirable physical and intellectual qualities breed together.
Those deemed undesirable, mostly people with physical and mental disabilities, along with families or individuals who live in poverty, drunkards, prostitutes and others deemed with the ever-changing definition of “feeblemindedness,” were often forced into decrepit and abuse-riddled institutions or were forcibly sterilized. Sometimes, abortions were also performed, though in the early days of eugenics it was rather dangerous.
This policy of discriminating against these men, women and children was epitomized in the Supreme Court case Buck v. Bell in 1927. The focus of the case was Carrie Buck, a young woman with an impoverished and difficult childhood who became pregnant at 17. She claimed she had been raped by the nephew of the couple she was living and working with.
The state, instead of prosecuting her rapist or providing her with social support through the government or church, went to court to have her forcibly sterilized.
Andrea DenHoed of The New Yorker wrote, “When Carrie was sent to the Virginia Colony for Epileptics and Feeble-Minded, in 1924, the forward thinkers of America were preoccupied by the imagined genetic threat of feeblemindedness, a capaciously defined condition that was diagnosed using often flawed intelligence tests and by identifying symptoms such as moral degeneracy, an overactive sex drive, and other traits liberally ascribed to poor people (especially poor women) who were seen as having stepped out of line.”
Famously, Supreme Court Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote in his decision, “three generations of imbeciles are enough” when referring to Carrie and her mother Emma.
To give an idea about how abhorrent this decision is, it’s still technically on the books and was used as precedent in the courts as recently as 2001. Nazi leadership referenced the case during their defense at the Nuremburg trials.
In addition to influencing Nazi leaders before and during World War II, which led to the deaths of millions, eugenics also deeply influenced the abortion movement and Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood.
So, though eugenics has been firmly thrown into the trash heap of history, it still continues to exist through abortion.
Recently, Senator Elizabeth Warren was quoted saying, “Both voting and access to abortion are basic. They’re about the functioning of our democracy and about the protection of personal autonomy.”
However, there is nothing more invasive to a person’s autonomy than eugenics and the policies and practices it endorses, like abortion—and there’s a reason why the abortion industry continues to target low-income and African American women. It’s not to help them express their womanhood, but it’s the racist and discriminatory legacy of eugenics in action.
This can even be seen in how certain politicians celebrated the removal of the Hyde Amendment from the most recent appropriations bill. It was portrayed to the American public as a way to help low-income women get the health care they need, like abortion. But again, this decision is just another example of eugenics in action.
Though the world was horrified by the Holocaust and other Nazi policies that led to the mass murder of millions under the guise of eugenics and swore that the world would “never forget,” if it’s labeled as “abortion” it’s somehow empowering. It isn’t, just instead the relic of a bygone era that refuses to die.
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