Justice Clarence Thomas Provides America a Lesson on Eugenics and Abortion

Justice Clarence Thomas Provides America a Lesson on Eugenics and Abortion

Justice Clarence Thomas Provides America a Lesson on Eugenics and Abortion

The Story: In a latest Supreme Courtroom opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas linked the dots between eugenics and abortion. In response, abortion supporters try to discredit him in hopes that People received’t study the reality.

The Background: Earlier this week the Supreme Courtroom declined to assessment Field v. Deliberate Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky. That case was about an Indiana Regulation which included a provision that may make it unlawful for an abortion supplier to carry out an abortion within the state when the supplier is aware of that the mom is in search of the abortion solely due to the kid’s race, intercourse, prognosis of Down syndrome, incapacity, or associated traits.

In a 20-page opinion, Affiliate Justice Thomas argued that the legislation “promote[s] a State’s compelling interest in preventing abortion from becoming a tool of modern-day eugenics.” Listed below are some highlights from the opinion:

Using abortion to attain eugenic targets isn’t merely hypothetical. The foundations for legalizing abortion in America had been laid through the early 20th-century birth- management motion. That motion developed alongside the American eugenics motion. And considerably, Deliberate Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger acknowledged the eugenic potential of her trigger.


This case highlights the truth that abortion is an act rife with the potential for eugenic manipulation. From the start, contraception and abortion had been promoted as technique of effectuating eugenics. Deliberate Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger was significantly open about the truth that contraception could possibly be used for eugenic functions. These arguments concerning the eugenic potential for contraception apply with even better power to abortion, which can be utilized to focus on particular youngsters with undesirable traits. Even after World Battle II, future Deliberate Parenthood President Alan Guttmacher and different abortion advocates endorsed abortion for eugenic causes and promoted it as a method of controlling the inhabitants and enhancing its high quality. As defined under, a rising physique of proof means that eugenic targets are already being realized by way of abortion.


Abortion advocates had been generally candid about abortion’s eugenic potentialities. In 1959, for instance, Guttmacher explicitly endorsed eugenic causes for abortion. A. Guttmacher, Infants by Selection or by Probability 186–188 (1959). He defined that “the quality of the parents must be taken into account,” together with “[f]eeblemindedness,” and believed that “it should be permissible to abort any pregnancy . . . in which there is a strong probability of an abnormal or malformed infant.” He added that the query whether or not to permit abortion have to be “separated from emotional, moral and religious concepts” and “must have as its focus normal, healthy infants born into homes peopled with parents who have healthy bodies and minds.” Equally, authorized scholar Glanville Williams wrote that he was open to the potential of eugenic infanticide, no less than in some conditions, explaining that “an eugenic killing by a mother, exactly paralleled by the bitch that kills her misshapen puppies, cannot confidently be pronounced immoral.” G. Williams, Sanctity of Life and the Legal Regulation 20 (1957). The Courtroom cited Williams’ e-book for a special proposition in Roe v. Wade, 410 U. S. 113, 130, n. 9 (1973).


Though the Courtroom declines to wade into these points immediately, we can’t keep away from them endlessly. Having created the constitutional proper to an abortion, this Courtroom is dutybound to handle its scope.

What It Means: Whereas pro-lifers are likely to already know concerning the eugenics motion, many People are solely listening to about it for the primary time. Not surprisingly, this has prompted one thing of a panic amongst abortion apologists.

For instance, the Washington Submit wrote an article titled, “Clarence Thomas tried to link abortion to eugenics. Seven historians told The Post he’s wrong.” Within the article Paul A. Lombardo, a professor of legislation at Georgia State College, says, “I’ve been studying this stuff for 40 years, and I’ve never been able to find a leader of the eugenics movement that came out and said they supported abortion.” Lombardo might have missed the truth that Thomas had straight quoted Alan Guttmacher, the previous president of the Deliberate Parenthood Federation of America and namesake of the Guttmacher Institute, expressing help for eugenic abortions. Extra seemingly, although, Lombardo most likely assumes that folks will learn the article within the Submit and assume his declare is true. If the Submit can’t be bothered to reality verify the claims they publish, why will the readers?

Critics of Justice Thomas additionally declare there isn’t any want for a ban on sex-selective abortion as a result of they don’t seem to be occurring in the US. Michael C. Dorf, a professor of U.S. constitutional legislation at Cornell, says “when women come to the United States from cultures that practice sex-selection abortion, they do not bring the practice with them. Accordingly, much of the Indiana law targets a non-problem.” Such a declare might solely be made by somebody unaware of demographic tendencies—and that didn’t learn the footnotes of Justice Thomas’s opinion.

One research that Justice Thomas cites is “Son-biased intercourse ratios within the 2000 United States Census” which was revealed in 2008 within the Proceedings of the Nationwide Academy of Sciences. Because the summary of the article says,

We doc male-biased intercourse ratios amongst U.S.-born youngsters of Chinese language, Korean, and Asian Indian dad and mom within the 2000 U.S. Census. This male bias is especially evident for third youngsters: If there was no earlier son, sons outnumbered daughters by 50%. In contrast, the intercourse ratios of eldest and youthful youngsters with an older brother had been each throughout the vary of the biologically regular, as had been White offspring intercourse ratios (regardless of the elder siblings’ intercourse). We interpret the discovered deviation in favor of sons to be proof of intercourse choice, most definitely on the prenatal stage. [emphasis added]

The article additionally provides that, “Since 2005, sexing through a blood test as early as 5 weeks after conception has been marketed directly to consumers in the U.S., raising the prospect of sex selection becoming more widely practiced in the near future.”

Professor Dorf additionally contends that Justice Thomas misuses the time period eugenic when he applies it to “an individual decision by an individual woman to have an abortion” since “eugenics cannot be an individual project.” But as Ed Whelan notes, “Dorf does not inform his readers of Thomas’s weighty evidence that individual abortion decisions can collectively have a eugenic impact. For example, ‘In Iceland, the abortion rate for children diagnosed with Down syndrome in utero approaches 100%.’ Dorf also ignores the possibility that there might be weighty systemic biases that influence individual abortion decisions.” Whelan additionally factors out that “the eugenics movement tried to harness the voluntary actions of individuals.”

Once more, a lot of the historical past Justice Thomas presents won’t come as information to knowledgeable pro-lifers (See: 9 Issues You Ought to Know About Eugenics). However the response by his critics exhibits that the pro-abortion crowd will go to in depth hyperlinks to discredit such any connection to the eugenic practices of yesteryear and people of immediately. They know they’ll lose credibility after they declare to oppose discrimination based mostly on intercourse, race, and incapacity and but enable the unborn to be killed based mostly on such discrimination.

Justice Thomas is correct concerning the connection to abortion and eugenics, and he’s proper when he says the Supreme Courtroom can’t keep away from the difficulty endlessly. Neither can the remainder of America. We have to guarantee America is aware of that every one youngsters are worthy of safety as a result of all are made within the picture of God.

Justice Clarence Thomas Provides America a Lesson on Eugenics and Abortion

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