To totally understand the abortion movement in America, we must go back to the roots of the movement. Abortion has been with us since the beginning of time but the tremendous surge over the 20th century can, in part, be linked to a popular movement in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. The practice of “Eugenics” not only led to our modern day abortion practices but also led to the Nazi genocide of Jews. It is an ugly part of our past that is not discussed very often. I believe that if you want to totally understand the impact of abortion, you need to look at the roots and philosophies of the beginning.
This post is different from most others on this site but I feel that it is a necessary read. It should only be a start for any reader – there is MUCH more information out there and it is shocking.
- This movement believed that weak genetic traits, people groups, unwanted, etc could be eliminated by forced sterilization. Blacks, native Americans, immigrants, people with defects, low intelligence – it was a way to cultivate society into what the “society leaders” thought was the premium stock.
- This movement fed into the Nazi practices to eliminate Jews and others.
- It was considered a progressive (i.e. liberal/advanced/educated) view. The right thing to do. The best for all society.
- It was the foundation for modern day abortion, birth control and “family planning”. A progressive way to move from sterilization to a more accepted control of “unwanted” population. Rather than sterilizing individuals this step handled the “unwanted” population in other ways.
- Sterilization was spun in positive terms for society’s benefit. Sound familiar?
- It may be hard to believe that our government and society leaders pushed for this. It was a dark idea in the progress of our country. Will we look back on our era in the same way?
- Liberal or conservative. Christian or atheist. Progressive or red neck. ALL ideas need to be challenged.
Eugenics, the social movement claiming to improve the genetic features of human populations through selective breeding and sterilization, based on the idea that it is possible to distinguish between superior and inferior elements of society, played a significant role in the history and culture of the United States prior to its involvement in World War II.
Eugenics was practiced in the United States many years before eugenics programs in Nazi Germany and U.S. programs provided much of the inspiration for the latter. Stefan Kühl has documented the consensus between Nazi race policies and those of eugenicists in other countries, including the United States, and points out that eugenicists understood Nazi policies and measures as the realization of their goals and demands.
During the Progressive Era of the late 19th and early 20th century, eugenics was considered a method of preserving and improving the dominant groups in the population; it is now generally associated with racist and nativist elements (as the movement was to some extent a reaction to a change in emigration from Europe) rather than scientific genetics.
Several feminist reformers advocated an agenda of eugenic legal reform. The National Federation of Women’s Clubs, the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, and the National League of Women Voters were among the variety of state and local feminist organization that at some point lobbied for eugenic reforms.
One of the most prominent feminists to champion the eugenic agenda was Margaret Sanger, the leader of the American birth control movement. Margaret Sanger saw birth control as a means to prevent unwanted children from being born into a disadvantaged life, and incorporated the language of eugenics to advance the movement. Sanger also sought to discourage the reproduction of persons who, it was believed, would pass on mental disease or serious physical defect. She advocated sterilization in cases where the subject was unable to use birth control. Unlike other eugenicists, she rejected euthanasia. For Sanger, it was individual women and not the state who should determine whether or not to have a child.
Wikipedia – Eugenics in the United States – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenics_in_the_United_States
Exodus 1:22 Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: “Every Hebrew boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live.”