Thursday, August 09, 2012

Prenatal Testing does equal Eugenics

In answer to Ellen Painter Dollar's article at Patheos Does Prenatal Testing Equal Eugenics? I discussed the following history of eugenics and how it might influence our so called private decisions on whether to abort our disabled children. The question to keep in mind is; with the extensive history of eugenics in the US and Europe are we really free of its influence?

Poster of the Nazis T4 Program to kill the disabled
 I did research on eugenics and found far more eugenics going on in the US that I ever imagined. Buck v Bell in 1926 was merely a reflection of the eugenics going on throughout the USA at the time.  Eugenics was highly respected and widely practiced, especially in the USA: in the South, with compulsory sterilizations of 60,000 citizens, mainly African Americans, in New York with the Negro Project of Margaret Sanger which sought to lower the African American populations via birth control. In her publication, Sanger said,
"The purpose in promoting birth control was “to create a race of thoroughbreds,”
“More children from the fit, less from the unfit—that is the chief aim of birth control.”
Birth Control Review, May 1919
Sanger said worse, "On blacks, immigrants and indigents:
”...human weeds,’ ‘reckless breeders,’ ‘spawning... human beings who never should have been born.”  Margaret Sanger, Pivot of Civilization
On the West Coast there were many eugenics facilities in Silicon Valley. In 1904, the Carnegie Institution established a laboratory complex at Cold Spring Harbor on Long Island that stockpiled millions of index cards on ordinary Americans, as researchers carefully plotted the removal of families, bloodlines and whole peoples. From Cold Spring Harbor, eugenics advocates agitated in the legislatures of America, as well as the nation’s social service agencies and associations.
The Harriman railroad fortune paid local charities, such as the New York Bureau of Industries and Immigration, to seek out Jewish, Italian and other immigrants in New York and other crowded cities and subject them to deportation, trumped up confinement or forced sterilization.
By far the most damning connection is that the Rockerfeller Foundation funded a eugenics institute in Germany  until just before WWII which hired the infamous Dr Mengele. When it comes to eugenics, this nation is guilty, guilty, guilty.  Read more in this August 9,2012 article in the San Francisco Chronicle.
The question is can we say with absolute certainty that eugenics has truly ended
when routine prenatal testing is required by governments  such as Mike Sullivan's native New Zealand? What is the underlying purpose of prenatal testing?  It is now being argued in the European Court oh Human Rights that eugenic abortion is a civil right. Here is the website of Stop Eugenics Now the group which opposes this movement.
It is even arising as an issue in the USA with new prenatal tests such as the non invasive MaterniT21, which may be part of the prenatal testing covered by the Affordable Care Act.  Could it be the intent of the Obama administration to prevent children with Down syndrome from being born?  Tucker Carlson pointed out in a 1996 Weekly Standard article that Joycelyn Elders, in 1990, when she was Arkansas state health director, testified before Congress that “abortion has had an important, and positive, public-health effect,” in that it has reduced “the number of children afflicted with severe defects.”
“As evidence, the future (U.S.) surgeon general cited this statistic: ‘The number of Down syndrome infants in Washington state in 1976 was 64% lower than it would have been without legal abortion,’” Carlson wrote.
I wrote about this in greater detail here.
Ms Dollar,  at a talk you gave this Tuesday in Connecticut, the point was raised that women feel that they have an obligation to bring to birth only healthy children who will not be a burden upon society. Where did this 'obligation' arise if not from our extensive history of eugenics, which has affected our national consciousness,  even what we consider private decisions? Can we really say that we are free of such deep seated cultural influences?
I was recently in a training session for parents of children with Down syndrome who wanted to connect with moms expecting babies with Down syndrome. Fifteen women told stories which broke my heart, they had made a decision to carry their baby with Down syndrome to term, yet their OB's bullied them incessantly, asking them to reconsider over and over again.  They were not given information on Down syndrome which would have informed their decision. They were being not so subtly influenced. Can this be considered a form of eugenically influenced coercion?
Read my book A Special Mother is Born and you will see that the new, insidious eugenics is alive and well. Only its worse than the T4 program. Those who practice it make women think they are making their own private decisions. Then the women, not the doctors carry the guilt of the death of their children.

Bookmark and Share

No comments: