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'Tomorrow's Children' (1934)
Youtube ^ | 2010 | youtube

Posted on 01/30/2011 7:51:41 PM PST by bronxville

'Tomorrow's Children' (1934) which was called 'The Unborn' in the UK

This was a very controversial film in its day. It was made during the height of the eugenics movement and considered subversive at the time.

Part I of 6

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"We do not stand alone": Nazi poster from 1936 with flags of other countries with compulsory sterilization legislation.

1 posted on 01/30/2011 7:51:43 PM PST by bronxville
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To: bronxville
A poster from a 1921 eugenics conference displays which U.S. states had by then implemented sterilization legislation.
2 posted on 01/30/2011 7:53:03 PM PST by bronxville
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To: bronxville

well, they should have continued a little longer in California...

3 posted on 01/30/2011 8:01:36 PM PST by phockthis
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To: bronxville

By Country


Compulsory sterilization in Canada

Although less well-known[says who?] than other eugenic sterilization programs, two Canadian provinces (Alberta and British Columbia) performed compulsory sterilization programs with eugenic aims. Canadian compulsory sterilization operated via the same overall mechanisms of institutionalization, judgement, and surgery as the American system[why?]. One notable difference is in the treatment of non-insane criminals. Canadian legislation never allowed for punitive sterilization of inmates.
[edit] Czechoslovakia, Czech Republic


Czechoslovakia carried out a policy of sterilization of Roma women, starting in 1973.[3] The dissidents of the Charter 77 denounced it in 1977-78 as a “genocide”, but the practice continued through the Velvet Revolution of 1989.[4] A 2005 report by the Czech government’s independent ombudsman, Otakar Motejl, identified dozens of cases of coercive sterilization between 1979 and 2001, and called for criminal investigations and possible prosecution against several health care workers and administrators.[5]


Nazi eugenics

“We do not stand alone”: Nazi poster from 1936 with flags of other countries with compulsory sterilization legislation.

The most infamous sterilization program of the 20th century took place under the Third Reich. One of the first acts by Adolf Hitler after achieving total control over the German state was to pass the Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring (Gesetz zur Verhütung erbkranken Nachwuchses) in July 1933. The law was signed in by Hitler himself, and over 200 eugenic courts were created specifically as a result of the law. Under the German law, all doctors in the Reich were required to report patients of theirs who were mentally retarded, mentally ill (including schizophrenia and manic depression), epileptic, blind, deaf, or physically deformed, and a steep monetary penalty was imposed for any patients who were not properly reported. Individuals suffering from alcoholism or Huntington’s Disease could also be sterilized. The individual’s case was then presented in front of a court of Nazi officials and public health officers who would review their medical records, take testimony from friends and colleagues, and eventually decide whether or not to order a sterilization operation performed on the individual, using force if necessary. Though not explicitly covered by the law, 400 mixed-race “Rhineland Bastards” were also sterilized beginning in 1937.[6]

By the end of World War II, over 400,000 individuals were sterilized under the German law and its revisions, most within its first four years of being enacted. When the issue of compulsory sterilization was brought up at the Nuremberg trials after the war, many Nazis defended their actions on the matter by indicating that it was the United States itself from whom they had taken inspiration. The Nazis had many other eugenics-inspired racial policies, including their “euthanasia” program in which around 70,000 people institutionalized or suffering from birth defects were murdered.[7]


Eugenics in Showa Japan

In the first part of the Showa era, Japanese governments promoted increasing the number of healthy Japanese, while simultaneously decreasing the number of people suffering mental retardation, disability, genetic disease and other conditions that led to inferiority in the Japanese gene pool.[8]

The Leprosy Prevention laws of 1907, 1931 and 1953, permitted the segregation of patients in sanitariums where forced abortions and sterilization were common and authorized punishment of patients “disturbing peace”.[9] Under the colonial Korean Leprosy prevention ordinance, Korean patients were also subjected to hard labor.[10]

The Race Eugenic Protection Law was submitted from 1934 to 1938 to the Diet. After four amendments, this draft was promulgated as a National Eugenic Law in 1940 by the Konoe government.[11] According to Matsubara Yoko, from 1940 to 1945, sterilization was done to 454 Japanese persons under this law.[12]

According to the Eugenic Protection Law (1948), sterilization could be enforced on criminals “with genetic predisposition to commit crime”, patients with genetic diseases such as total color-blindness, hemophilia, albinism and ichthyosis, and mental affections such as schizophrenia, manic-depression and epilepsy.[13] The mental sicknesses were added in 1952.


India’s state of emergency between 1975 and 1977 included an infamous family planning initiative beginning April 1976, which involved the vasectomy of thousands of men and tubal ligation of women, either for payment or under coercive conditions. The son of then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Sanjay Gandhi, was largely blamed for what turned out to be a failed program.[14] A strong backlash against any initiative associated with family planning followed the highly controversial program, which continues into the 21st century.[15]


Coercive sterilization to enforce the one child policy has occurred in China. This is not permitted by the law, and some local officials have been jailed for their actions.[16] In 2010, Amnesty International accused authorities in Puning of compelling people to be sterilized by imprisoning their elderly relatives.[17][18]
[edit] Sweden

In 1997, following the publication of articles by Maciej Zaremba in the Dagens Nyheter daily, widespread attention was given to the fact that Sweden once operated a strong sterilization program, which was active primarily from the late 1930s until the mid 1950s. A governmental commission was set up, and finished its inquiry in 2000.[5]

The eugenistic legislation was enacted in 1934 and was formally abolished in 1976. According to the 2000 governmental report, 21,000 were estimated to have been forcibly sterilized, 6,000 were coerced into a ‘voluntary’ sterilization while the nature of a further 4,000 cases could not be determined.[19] The Swedish state subsequently paid out damages to many of the victims.

The program was meant primarily to prevent mental illness and disease. In 1922 the State Institute of Racial Biology was founded in Uppsala and in 1927 Parliament began to deal with the first legal provisions on sterilisation.[5] A new draft was produced in 1932, already taking into account sterilisation for general socio-prophylactic reasons, and even without the consent of the person concerned.[5] The draft was adopted in 1934.[5] Another law, passed in 1941, did not include any age of consent limit.

From 1950, the number of eugenic sterilisations under the 1935 legal provisions gradually decreased and between 1960 and 1970 voluntary sterilisations based on the wishes and in the interest of the persons concerned prevailed.[5] As in Canada and the US, racial politics also became involved, as there was a strong belief in the connection between race and genetic integrity among leading scientists and those carrying out the sterilizations. The Swedish Racial Hygiene Society had been founded in Stockholm in 1909, and the 1934 works by Alva and Gunnar Myrdal was very significant in promoting the eugenic tendencies in practical politics.[5] The authors theorized that the best solution for the Swedish welfare state (”folkhem”) was to prevent at the outset the hereditary transfer of undesirable characteristics that caused the individual affected to become sooner or later a burden on society. The authors therefore proposed a “corrective social reform” under which sterilisation was to prevent “unviable individuals” from spreading their undesirable traits.[5] In the later decades it was primarily the mentally ill who were forcibly sterilized.


In October 1999, Margrith von Felten suggested to the National Council of Switzerland in the form of a general proposal to adopt legal regulations that would enable reparation for persons sterilised against their will. According to the proposal, reparation was to be provided to persons who had undergone the intervention without their consent or who had consented to sterilisation under coercion. According to Margrith von Felten:

“The history of eugenics in Switzerland remains insufficiently explored. Research programmes are in progress. However, individual studies and facts are already available. For example:

The report of the Institute for the History of Medicine and Public Health “Mental Disability and Sexuality. Legal Sterilisation in the Vaud Canton between 1928 and 1985” points out that coercive sterilisations took place until the 1980s. The act on coercive sterilisations of the Vaud Canton was the first law of this kind in the European context.

Hans Wolfgang Maier, head of the Psychiatric Clinic in Zurich pointed out in a report from the beginning of the century that 70% to 80% of terminations were linked to sterilisation by doctors. In the period from 1929 to 1931, 480 women and 15 men were sterilised in Zurich in connection with termination.

Following agreements between doctors and authorities such as the 1934 “Directive For Surgical Sterilisation” of the Medical Association in Basle, eugenic indication to sterilisation was recognised as admissible.

A statistical evaluation of the sterilisations performed in the Basle women’s hospital between 1920 and 1934 shows a remarkable increase in sterilisations for a psychiatric indication after 1929 and a steep increase in 1934, when a coercive sterilisation act came into effect in nearby National Socialist Germany.

A study by the Swiss Nursing School in Zurich, published in 1991, documents that 24 mentally-disabled women aged between 17 and 25 years were sterilised between 1980 and 1987. Of these 24 sterilisations, just one took place at the young woman’s request.

Having evaluated sources primarily from the 1930s (psychiatric files, official directives, court files, etc.), historians have documented that the requirement for free consent to sterilisation was in most of cases not satisfied. Authorities obtained the “consent” required by the law partly by persuasion, and partly by enforcing it through coercion and threats. Thus the recipients of social benefits were threatened with removal of the benefits, women were exposed to a choice between placement in an institution or sterilisation, and abortions were permitted only when women simultaneously consented to sterilisation.

More than fifty years after ending the National Socialist dictatorship in Germany, in which racial murder, euthanasia and coerced sterilisations belonged to the political programme, it is clear that eugenics, with its idea of “life unworthy of life” and “racial purity” permeated even democratic countries. The idea that a “healthy nation” should be achieved through targeted medical/social measures was designed and politically implemented in many European countries and in the U.S.A in the first half of this century. It is a policy incomparable with the inconceivable horrors of the Nazi rule; yet it is clear that authorities and the medical community were guilty of the methods and measures applied, i.e. coerced sterilisations, prohibitions of marriages and child removals – serious violations of human rights.[5]

Switzerland refused, however, to vote a reparations Act.

United States

Eugenics in the United States

A poster from a 1921 eugenics conference displays which U.S. states had by then implemented sterilization legislation.

The United States was the first country to concertedly undertake compulsory sterilization programs for the purpose of eugenics.[20] The heads of the program were avid believers in eugenics and frequently argued for their program. It was shut down due to ethical problems. The principal targets of the American program were the mentally retarded and the mentally ill, but also targeted under many state laws were the deaf, the blind, people with epilepsy, and the physically deformed. According to the activist Angela Davis, Native Americans, as well as African-American women[21] were sterilized against their will in many states, often without their knowledge while they were in a hospital for other reasons (e.g. childbirth). However, citing a Government Accountability Office investigation which found no evidence to support Davis’s claims, The Chicago Reader also noted that the rate of sterilizations for all American women (or their partners) was 41% as of 1995,[citation needed] compared to only “at least 25%” of Native American women receiving sterilization as shown by the activist and physician Connie Redbird Uri Pinkerman, whose work prompted the GAO investigation;[citation needed] The Chicago Reader also claimed that overall, “Accounts in the medical journals suggest that surgical sterilization rates for Native Americans rose during this period but were lower than for the general population. (IHS data for 1975 indicates that the tubal ligation rate was about the same as for the non-Native American population, while the hysterectomy rate was much lower)”.[22] Some sterilizations took place in prisons and other penal institutions, targeting criminality, but they were in the relative[citation needed] minority. In the end, over 65,000 individuals were sterilized in 33 states under state compulsory sterilization programs in the United States.[23]

The first state to introduce a compulsory sterilization bill was Michigan, in 1897 but the proposed law failed to garner enough votes by legislators to be adopted. Eight years later Pennsylvania’s state legislators passed a sterilization bill that was vetoed by the governor. Indiana became the first state to enact sterilization legislation in 1907,[24] followed closely by Washington and California in 1909. Sterilization rates across the country were relatively low (California being the sole exception) until the 1927 Supreme Court case Buck v. Bell which legitimized the forced sterilization of patients at a Virginia home for the mentally retarded. The number of sterilizations performed per year increased until another Supreme Court case, Skinner v. Oklahoma, 1942, complicated the legal situation by ruling against sterilization of criminals if the equal protection clause of the constitution was violated. That is, if sterilization was to be performed, then it could not exempt white-collar criminals.[25]

Most sterilization laws could be divided into three main categories of motivations: eugenic (concerned with heredity), therapeutic (part of an even-then obscure medical theory that sterilization would lead to vitality), or punitive (as a punishment for criminals), though of course these motivations could be combined in practice and theory (sterilization of criminals could be both punitive and eugenic, for example). Buck v. Bell asserted only that eugenic sterilization was constitutional, whereas Skinner v. Oklahoma ruled specifically against punitive sterilization. Most operations only worked to prevent reproduction (such as severing the vas deferens in males), though some states (Oregon and North Dakota in particular) had laws which called for the use of castration. In general, most sterilizations were performed under eugenic statutes, in state-run psychiatric hospitals and homes for the mentally disabled.[26] There was never a federal sterilization statute, though eugenicist Harry H. Laughlin, whose state-level “Model Eugenical Sterilization Law” was the basis of the statute affirmed in Buck v. Bell, proposed the structure of one in 1922.[27]

After World War II, public opinion towards eugenics and sterilization programs became more negative in the light of the connection with the genocidal policies of Nazi Germany, though a significant number of sterilizations continued in a few states until the early 1960s. The Oregon Board of Eugenics, later renamed the Board of Social Protection, existed until 1983, with the last forcible sterilization occurring in 1981.[28] The U.S. commonwealth Puerto Rico had a sterilization program as well. Some states continued to have sterilization laws on the books for much longer after that, though they were rarely if ever used. California sterilized more than any other state by a wide margin, and was responsible for over a third of all sterilization operations. Information about the California sterilization program was produced into book form and widely disseminated by eugenicists E.S. Gosney and Paul B. Popenoe, which was said by the government of Adolf Hitler to be of key importance in proving that large-scale compulsory sterilization programs were feasible.[29] In recent years, the governors of many states have made public apologies for their past programs beginning with Virginia and followed by Oregon and California. None have offered to compensate those sterilized, however, citing that few are likely still living (and would of course have no affected offspring) and that inadequate records remain by which to verify them. At least one compensation case, Poe v. Lynchburg Training School & Hospital (1981), was filed in the courts on the grounds that the sterilization law was unconstitutional. It was rejected because the law was no longer in effect at the time of the filing. However, the petitioners were granted some compensation as the stipulations of the law itself, which required informing the patients about their operations, had not been carried out in many cases.

The 27 states where sterilization laws remained on the books (though not all were still in use) in 1956 were: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin.[30]

Other countries

Eugenics programs including forced sterilization existed in most Northern European countries, as well as other more or less Protestant countries. Some programs, such as Canada’s and Sweden’s, lasted well into the 1970s.

Other countries that had notably active sterilization programs include Australia, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Switzerland, Iceland, and some countries in Latin America (including Panama).[31]

In the United Kingdom, Home Secretary Winston Churchill introduced a bill that included forced sterilization.

Writer G. K. Chesterton led a successful effort to defeat that clause of the 1913 Mental Deficiency Act. In Peru, former president Alberto Fujimori (1990–2000) pressured 200,000 indigenous people in rural areas (mainly Quechuas and Aymaras) into being sterilized.[32]

According to some testimonies, the Soviet Union allegedly imposed forced sterilization on female workers deported from Romania to Soviet labor camps. This is said to have occurred after World War II, when Romania was supposed to supply a reconstruction workforce (according to the armistice convention).[33] However, no court decisions or formal investigations of these allegations are known for the moment.

A Dutch Labour Party MP has recently proposed temporary (two year) compulsory contraception, (not sterilization), of women who have a legally proven history of child abuse. The method would be via injection of anti-conception medicinal drugs, every six months. If the woman or parents have shown progress during that time, this would be reversed.[3]

4 posted on 01/30/2011 8:03:58 PM PST by bronxville
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To: bronxville
I used to like the science fiction novels of Cyril Kornbluth, a great imaginative writer.

But one of his novels is along the same lines:

In this near-future novel, all of the dumb people have lots of kids, while the smart ones use birth control and refrain from having any. As a result, the average IQ of the population has been reduced to 40.

I suppose you could read it, not as a eugenics novel, but as a warning that if all the self-defined "smart" people refrain from having kids, the results will not be pretty. Anyway, although very well done, I thought it was pretty questionable when I first read it.

5 posted on 01/30/2011 8:05:22 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Cicero

Edwin Black wrote a book “War Against the Weak” about the Eugenics movement. Very well written, and very shocking.

6 posted on 01/30/2011 8:09:13 PM PST by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: Cicero

Thanks cicero. The theme being to remind us how much we depend on them as our betters. I’ve met many well-educated people who don’t have an ounce of commonsense in their body. Have you run into any of them? They’re usually get pushed into higher positions because they can’t cope with the general workings. Rachel Carson wrote a book which got DDT banned and millions died and continue to die because of it. They credit her with the beginning of environmentalism yet it was talked about in the mid 18th c. Sustein and Erlich (?sp) wrote books on population control and they’re now czars in the WH. Obama praised Darwin. Anyway one could go on...

7 posted on 01/30/2011 8:20:01 PM PST by bronxville
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To: redgolum

War Against the Weak - Review

How American corporate philanthropies launched a national campaign of ethnic cleansing in the United States, helped found and fund the Nazi eugenics of Hitler and Mengele — and then created the modern movement of “human genetics.”

In the first three decades of the 20th Century, American corporate philanthropy combined with prestigious academic fraud to create the pseudoscience eugenics that institutionalized race politics as national policy. The goal: create a superior, white, Nordic race and obliterate the viability of everyone else.

How? By identifying so-called “defective” family trees and subjecting them to legislated segregation and sterilization programs. The victims: poor people, brown-haired white people, African Americans, immigrants, Indians, Eastern European Jews, the infirm and really anyone classified outside the superior genetic lines drawn up by American raceologists. The main culprits were the Carnegie Institution, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Harriman railroad fortune, in league with America’s most respected scientists hailing from such prestigious universities as Harvard, Yale and Princeton, operating out of a complex at Cold Spring Harbor on Long Island. The eugenic network worked in tandem with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the State Department and numerous state governmental bodies and legislatures throughout the country, and even the U.S. Supreme Court. They were all bent on breeding a eugenically superior race, just as agronomists would breed better strains of corn. The plan was to wipe away the reproductive capability of the weak and inferior.

Ultimately, 60,000 Americans were corrosively sterilized — legally and extra-legally. Many never discovered the truth until decades later. Those who actively supported eugenics include America’s most progressive figures: Woodrow Wilson, Margaret Sanger and Oliver Wendell Holmes.

American eugenic crusades proliferated into a worldwide campaign, and in the 1920s came to the attention of Adolf Hitler. Under the Nazis, American eugenic principles were applied without restraint, careening out of control into the Reich’s infamous genocide. During the pre-War years, American eugenicists openly supported Germany’s program. The Rockefeller Foundation financed the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute and the work of its central racial scientists. Once WWII began, Nazi eugenics turned from mass sterilization and euthanasia to genocidal murder. One of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute doctors in the program financed by the Rockefeller Foundation was Josef Mengele who continued his research in Auschwitz, making daily eugenic reports on twins. After the world recoiled from Nazi atrocities, the American eugenics movement — its institutions and leading scientists — renamed and regrouped under the banner of an enlightened science called human genetics.

Ultimately, 60,000 Americans were corrosively sterilized — legally and extra-legally. Many never discovered the truth until decades later. Those who actively supported eugenics include America’s most progressive figures: Woodrow Wilson, Margaret Sanger and Oliver Wendell Holmes.

Eugenics led to Contraceptives, Abortions, Partial-Birth Abortions... The Anglican Church caved to contraception in the late 1920’s early 1930’s. Pope Paul wrote an excellent encyclical on Contraception in the 1960’s and got totally annihilated by the press - world-wide daily for weeks if not months. If one reads it today one might think he was a prophet.

8 posted on 01/30/2011 8:29:38 PM PST by bronxville
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To: Cicero

Movie version: “Idiocracy”. ;-)

9 posted on 01/30/2011 8:34:32 PM PST by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue./Technological progress cannot be legislated.)
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To: Cicero

well that book is hard to come by. amazon has only six available, cheapest price = $85.00

10 posted on 01/30/2011 8:52:53 PM PST by naturalborn
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To: bronxville

11 posted on 01/30/2011 10:29:57 PM PST by bronxville
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To: bronxville

12 posted on 01/30/2011 10:31:11 PM PST by bronxville
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To: bronxville

img src=>

13 posted on 01/30/2011 10:34:15 PM PST by bronxville
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To: bronxville

14 posted on 01/30/2011 10:35:17 PM PST by bronxville
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To: bronxville

“wrote a book which got DDT banned and millions died and continue to die because of it.”

IIRC the number is over a million A YEAR die from malaria. Mostly children.

15 posted on 01/30/2011 10:41:29 PM PST by 21twelve ( You can go from boom to bust, from dreams to a bowl of dust ... another lost generation.)
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To: bronxville

That looks like MSNBC’s organizational chart.

16 posted on 01/30/2011 11:29:31 PM PST by katana
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To: naturalborn

Goodness. I didn’t check the price. I still have the first edition somewhere, and the magazine where the story first appeared. Galaxy? I’m not sure. But I have shelves of back copies of Galaxy and Amazing/Analog.

17 posted on 01/31/2011 8:43:16 AM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: bronxville

Marie Stopes International


In 2008 MSI centres and associated activities provided family planning services that resulted in 13.5 million Couple Years of Protection (CYP) from over 6 million client visits.[2] These contraceptive choices included:

- over 570,000 sterilisations - tubal ligation and vasectomy

- over 502,000 Intra-Uterine Contraceptive Devices (IUCD) or Gynefix

- Implants and contraceptive injections

- Emergency contraceptive pills

- 143 million male and female condoms
[edit] Social Marketing

MSI runs contraceptive social marketing programmes in 17 countries - such as the Kushi contraceptive pill and injectable in India[3], Raha condom and Smart Lady emergency contraceptive pill in Kenya[4], Lifeguard condom in Uganda[5] and Snake condom in Australia aimed at the Aboriginal market[6].
[edit] Expansion

In 2008 MSI opened in Mexico City State where legislative change has enabled improved access to abortion services[7].
[edit] Politics

Marie Stopes International was displeased at the election of Pope Benedict XVI in 2005, saying It looks like this particular cardinal will continue with the line on contraception, condoms, and HIV prevention that Pope John Paul II had. It’s regrettable because that will impact so terribly on the lives of millions of people, particularly in the developing world.. [8] Edward C. (Ted) Green, past Senior Research Scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health, is cited in the article on him in Wikipedia as supporting the pope’s emphasis, including monogamy and circumcision, while arguing that the secular and biomedical approaches are not proved to have been successful, since, for example, emphasis on condoms promotes the promiscuity that promotes HIV AIDS. The pope has in effect gone along with Green’s point that use of condoms can be of secondary assistance in preventing the spread of AIDS....

18 posted on 01/31/2011 9:14:15 AM PST by bronxville
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To: bronxville

A Century of Controlling Reproduction:

The Impact of Sterilization on American Society and Culture

Because sterilization’s birth really was in eugenics, its impact on American society and culture must first be considered along with eugenics. Eugenics and sterilization were well received by an America at the early twentieth century which was obsessed with reproduction and driven by an ideology of progress and science. Eugenic sterilization promised to be a panacea against the rising tide of degeneracy and eugenicists believed this “surgical solution” could bring about a new American utopia—one based on science, race, and progress rather than Christianity.

Eugenic education was a crucial component of selling sterilization to the American masses and reveals the great impact of eugenics and sterilization on American culture. Historian Steven Selden has illustrated the extensive infiltration of eugenics into the American textbook. High school and college students were regularly bombarded with eugenic rhetoric in their natural sciences lessons. Selden has concluded that between 1914 and 1948, eugenics was cited in 85 percent of high school biology textbooks while the science was recommended in 70 percent of them. In these books, 15 percent of them recommended involuntary sterilization as sound social policy.35One popular eugenics textbook, Applied Eugenics, even included an entire chapter on the need for eugenic sterilization.36

Beyond the textbook, eugenics and sterilization penetrated other realms of American culture. International eugenics conferences were held in New York City, eugenics exhibits appeared at state fairs in the Midwest, American families and babies participated in contests where they were judged for their eugenic fitness, Margaret Sanger’s American Birth Control League called for involuntary sterilization, and even film served as an important source of cultural infusion. Tomorrow’s Children, a 1934 film actually attacking eugenic sterilization and the 1927 Supreme Court ruling upholding it, was banned by New York state censors for its unpleasant nature. An even more controversial 1917 film, The Black Stork, dealt with the killing of eugenically defective babies. Historian Martin Pernick has revealed dozens of other American films dealing with heredity and eugenics as well as their popularity during the early twentieth century.37In 1937, a survey by Fortune magazine revealed that more than two-thirds of Americans favored the involuntary sterilization of criminals and mental defectives—clearly, Americans had become receptive to the new medical technology.38

One last way to comprehend the impact of eugenic sterilization in America is examining the impact it had within the international context—namely the developments in Nazi Germany. The National Socialists turned to the United States for eugenic inspiration as they regarded America in high esteem for her pioneering efforts and success in sterilization. Some historians even argue that American developments in eugenic sterilization were partly responsible for Nazi genocide and the Holocaust. For example, one Nazi war criminal at Nuremberg, SS General Otto Hofmann, cited the United States as justification for his nation’s actions, “In a judgment of the [U.S.] Supreme Court…it says, among other things: ‘It is better for everybody if society, instead of waiting until it has to execute degenerate offspring or leave them to starve because of feeble-mindedness, can prevent obviously inferior individuals from propagating their kind.”39American eugenicists tried to ignore these associations and connections after the war.


Not every American was completely receptive to the sterilization procedure during the first half of the twentieth century. Opposition did develop, mostly in the form of religious organizations, especially Catholic groups, anti-eugenic geneticists and social scientists, some physicians, and even some eugenicists who believed that sterilization was not the solution for race betterment.

By far, Catholic groups were the most outspoken due to traditional opposition to all forms of birth control and the racial nature of eugenics. Some geneticists, social scientists, and physicians resisted the new technology of sterilization out of a belief that the data used to justify its use was not scientific and fears of what the Nazi regime was using it for. Finally, some eugenicists believed that sterilization as a eugenic weapon was ineffective as it potentially prevented the birth of some useful individuals—they hoped other solutions would solve the defective problem in America.

Sadly, few opponents resisted sterilization out of a desire to defend the rights of defectives. It is arguable that a strong majority of Americans agreed on the subhuman nature of America’s mentally and physically handicapped during the early twentieth century.40...

19 posted on 01/31/2011 9:21:26 AM PST by bronxville
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To: bronxville

Marie Stopes, Francis Galton, Emma Goldman (Sangers mentor), Margaret Sanger, Sidney and Beatrice Webb were all enthusiastic advocates for compulsory sterilization of whom they regarded as unfit.

A commentator (19th Feb 09 11.29)on the Guardian editorial (comment is free) draws attention to the Fabian Tract of 1906 written by the Webbs in which they say:

In Great Britain at this moment, when half, or perhaps two-thirds of all the married people are regulating their families, children are being freely born to the Irish Roman Catholics and the Polish, Russian and German Jews, the thriftless and irresponsible. This can hardly result in anything but national deterioration, or this country falling to the Irish and the Jews.

Fry and Hitchens go around calling the Holy Father a Nazi. I wonder what they think of Marie Stopes who sent letters and poems to Hitler? But then the ability for double-think is a necessary requirement if you want to be considered for the liberal elite.

20 posted on 01/31/2011 9:29:28 AM PST by bronxville
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