Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Roe v Wade Reflections

There are a lot of women who had abortions when they were young, who don't have children, and who can't have children now.

But then Margaret Sanger, founder of Family Planning, was a strong proponent of eugenics, who in her 1922 book "Pivot of Civilization" unabashedly called for the extirpation of "weeds .... overrunning the humnan garden"; for the segregation of "morons, misfits, and the maladjusted"; and for the sterilization of "genetically inferior races."

As Sanger writes of the utopia that her eugenics would bring about:

"Let us conceive for the moment at least, a world not burdened by the
weight of dependent and delinquent classes, a total population of
mature, intelligent, critical and expressive men and women. Instead
of the inert, exploitable, mentally passive class which now forms the
barren substratum of our civilization, try to imagine a population
active, resistant, passing individual and social lives of the most
contented and healthy sort. Would such men and women, liberated from
our endless, unceasing struggle against mass prejudice and inertia, be
deprived in any way of the stimulating zest of life? Would they sink
into a slough of complacency and fatuity?

"No! Life for them would be enriched, intensified and ennobled in a
fashion it is difficult for us in our spiritual and physical squalor
even to imagine. There would be a new renaissance of the arts and
sciences. Awakened at last to the proximity of the treasures of life
lying all about them, the children of that age would be inspired by a
spirit of adventure and romance that would indeed produce a
terrestrial paradise.

"Let us look forward to this great release of creative and constructive
energy, not as an idle, vacuous mirage, but as a promise which we, as
the whole human race, have it in our power, in the very conduct of our
lives from day to day, to transmute into a glorious reality. Let us
look forward to that era, perhaps not so distant as we believe, when
the great adventures in the enchanted realm of the arts and sciences
may no longer be the privilege of a gifted few, but the rightful
heritage of a race of genius..."

(M. Sanger, The Pivot of Civilization)

It is precisely the same utopian vision that Adolf Hitler advocated, pursued by peaceful means.

It did not work out exactly the way that Sanger thought it would. She wanted to rid the world of mental defectives, but in the end she succeeded in established policies that, in effect, encouraged women who belong to her sisterhood to eliminate themselves from the gene pool.