"Eugenics is the study of agencies under social control that may improve or impair the racial qualities of future generations, whether physically or mentally." — Sir Francis Galton, 1883
Sir Francis Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin, introduced “eugenics” in England as the science of improving the germ plasm of the human race through better breeding. Over the years, eugenics evolved to include sterilization and euthanasia — end of life for the unproductive and enfeebled.
One of President Barack Obama’s closest health care advisors, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, brother of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, advocates reserving medical care for the “non-disabled.” As a result, the discredited subject of “eugenics” is actually being discussed again, and at the White House. The deliberately vague language of the various Obamacare bills making their way through Congress has the potential to promote a neo-eugenics.
The roots of eugenics are found in “The Essay on the Principle of Population” by British clergyman and economist Thomas Malthus in 1798 and referenced by Galton. In the United States, eugenics has been promoted by academic elitists, such as Charles Davenport (Harvard) and Lothrop Stoddard (Harvard); by political elitists from Teddy Roosevelt (Harvard) to Nancy Pelosi; and by financial elitists such as the Rockefellers (Standard Oil fortune) and Mrs. E.H. Harriman (wife of the railroad tycoon). Mrs. Harriman sought to stem the tide of the “defective and delinquent classes” entering the U.S.
The history of eugenics in the U.S. is interwoven with immigration, beginning in the late 19th century, when immigrants were mainly from Eastern and Southern Europe and Russia, many of the Jewish faith. After World War I, the mood in America continued to favor restricting immigration.
In 1920, Margaret Sanger, advocate of planned parenting and founder of the American Birth Control League, wrote “Racial Quotas in Immigration” for her Birth Control Review, advocating limited immigration of Slavs, Hebrews, and Latinos because of their “lesser intelligence abilities.”
From 1921 to 1924, Rep. Albert Johnson, R-Wash., chaired the House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization, which held hearings where eugenics experts testified that biology, specifically eugenics, was essential in determining immigration criteria. The Immigration Act of 1924 was passed, restricting immigration quotas from Eastern and Southern Europe, Spanish-speaking countries, and Asia. Known as the Nordic Supremacy Act, this eugenics-based immigration legislation would remain in effect for four decades.
In 1927, the Supreme Court ruled in Buck v. Bell that state laws permitting the sterilization of the “mentally retarded” were legal. This decision legitimized eugenics as the basis for slowing or halting “defective” immigrants entering the U.S.
In 1932, Sanger’s article, “A Plan for Peace”, in Birth Control Review suggested a Congressional Department to keep the doors of immigration closed to certain aliens, such as the feeble-minded, the epileptic, prostitutes, and criminals. She recommended sterilization of persons with objectionable traits that might be transmitted to offspring, and included persons on public assistance. In 1933, Ernst Rudin, a Nazi psychiatrist, wrote an article in Birth Control Review. Like most eugenicists, Sanger and Rudin were advocates of mass sterilization of dysgenic groups — people of low intelligence and character — but also of political and social undesirables.
President Barack Obama has vowed to champion comprehensive immigration reform and amnesty for illegal immigrants. As recently as June, Democrats were pushing a comprehensive immigration bill, with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., claiming he had the needed votes. Then on Aug. 10, Obama announced that immigration legislation would have to wait until next year. Welcoming immigrants (legal and illegal) as U.S. voters with one hand, will he then euthanize their unproductive and enfeebled family members with the other?
With economic hard times spreading, health and welfare services have become the primary pull for immigration, at the same time that Congress is drafting healthcare legislation that would negatively impact immigrants as well as U.S. citizens. Depending on the Senate-House bill that manages to make its way out of conference, the neo-eugenics of Obamacare could mean rationed healthcare for the unborn, infants, young children, those over 65, and the disabled, especially the “mentally retarded.”
The Obamacare bills being proposed contain sections capable of impacting population control. Congress, of course, will leave to the federal bureaucracy the fleshing out of the legislation through implementing regulations, dictated by the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Federal bureaucrats will be the final decision-makers of what Obamacare will ultimately mean for individuals and how it will be enforced.
With good reason, older Americans fear “healthcare reform” and “health insurance reform.” The various House and Senate versions of Obamacare would reduce payments to nursing homes and rehabilitation centers by $15 billion. Payments also would be reduced to providers whose patients have high hospital readmission rates. Because of the public uproar over federal payments for healthcare “professionals” to counsel the elderly and infirm on end-of-life options, that measure has been stricken from one of the Senate bills. Medicare recipients are alarmed by the proposed reallocation of $500 billion from Medicare to finance as many as 50 million “uninsured” citizens and non-citizens. Such provisions would directly impact legal and illegal aliens with extended families. Abortion, left unmentioned in the Senate and House versions of Obamacare, would be lumped with other medical procedures to be funded or not according to federal regulations, as would healthcare for the “mentally retarded” and the elderly. Many immigrants, by religion and culture, oppose abortion and support healthcare for family members with mental incapacity.
A new version of eugenics is being written into healthcare legislation by the Obama administration and the Democrat-controlled Congress. Science Czar John P. Holdren co-authored Ecoscience: Population Resources, Environment, a 1977 book that advocated compulsory abortion for population control, mass sterilization, government-dictated family size (similar to China’s one-baby law), and a “planetary regime” enforced by United Nations population agencies.
Holdren is by no means alone. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is an advocate of population control. In a July interview with the New York Times Magazine, Ginsburg commented, “Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations we don’t want to have too many of.” Her remark was left hanging with no follow-up questions.
The Obama administration would be ill-advised to consider eugenics, which has been soundly rejected as bad science and bad politics based on failed experiments with it in Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa. Obamacare neo-eugenics will fare no better.
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