ObamaGenics wouldn’t be a blue jeans clothing line featuring Mrs. Obama but a bold, new progressive initiative and a descendent of the 20th Century American eugenics movement – the subject of Edwin Black’s book “War Against The Weak.”
Eugenics was, according to Paul A. Lombardo, author of “Three Generations of Imbeciles,” “entirely consistent with the even larger social movement that was key underpinning of eugenic activities: Progressivism.” (p. 17)
The eugenics movement marshaled support from agencies in 32 states where laws passed concerning the “socially inadequate.” The goal: Purge society of the “unfit.” The tool: Forced sterilizations that numbered about 60,000 between the adoption of the first state eugenics law (Indiana, 1907) and the repeal of the last law (N. Carolina, 2003).
California alone tallied 20,000 sterilizations between 1909 and 1979. But the California count hasn’t stopped. In July 2013, The Center for Investigative Reporting’s website revealed that “Doctors under contract with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation sterilized nearly 150 female inmates from 2006 to 2010 without required state approvals.”
The sterilized included the “feebleminded, paupers, criminals, epileptics, the insane, the congenitally weak, people predisposed to specific diseases, the deformed, the blind and the deaf.” (Black, p. 43)
Eugenics officials gathered endorsements and financial support from many early 20th Century celebrity-status persons and foundations, including Alexander Graham Bell, Junior League founder Mary W, Harriman Rumsey (William Averell Harriman’s sister, and daughter of railroad magnate E.H. Harriman), Andrew Carnegie and the Carnegie Institute, the Rockefeller Foundation, New Jersey Governor Woodrow Wilson, Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, economist Irving Fisher, and former President Theodore Roosevelt who, in 1913, wrote to a leading eugenicist that, “…society has no business to permit degenerates to reproduce their kind…Some day, we will realize that the prime duty, the inescapable duty, of the good citizen of the right type, is to leave his or her blood behind him in the world; and that we have no business to permit the perpetuation of citizens of the wrong type.” (Black, p.99)
The linkage between the eugenics movement and progressivism is unavoidable, but unmentionable today among those who, like Hillary Clinton in a 2008 presidential debate, defined herself as a “proud, modern, American progressive.”
Fortunately for today’s “unfit,” the Holmes-Holdren Reproductive Services Act (HHRSA), or ObamaGenics, would not be a rehash of the old eugenics. Instead, it would represent an enlightened morphing of the old eugenics into the modern genetic science represented by the Human Genome Project. The juxtaposition of old eugenics and the New Genetics – ObamaGenics – would be reflected in the legislation’s name.
First, the “Holmes” in the Act refers to the late Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. He wrote the May 2, 1927 majority opinion of the Court in the landmark case Buck v. Bell (Superintendent of Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feeble Minded).
“Buck” was Carrie Buck – deemed to be a second generation imbecile, housed at a Virginia state facility for the unfit where she awaited sterilization. Carrie had an infant daughter named Vivian – the alleged third generation imbecile from the same polluted gene pool. Carrie was scheduled to be sterilized. Her case was used to test the legality of the Virginia state law that authorized the procedure.
Oliver Wendell Holmes was the darling jurist of the early 20th Century American progressives. As Lombardo wrote, “After nearly twenty-five years on the Supreme Court, Holmes was the most celebrated judge in America. In March 1926, his portrait appeared on the cover of Time magazine as a tribute to his eighty-fifth birthday. The New Republic regaled him as a ‘tender, wise, beautiful being’ who ‘redeems the whole legal profession’ and, a few months later, applauded him as the wise ‘Yankee, strayed from Olympus.’” (p. 163)
Former President, and then Chief Justice of the SCOTUS, William Howard Taft assigned Holmes to write the majority opinion. Holmes’ opinion included this paragraph:
“We have seen more than once that the public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the State for these lesser sacrifices, often not felt to be such by those concerned, in order to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. It is better for all the world if, instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes. Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11. Three generations of imbeciles are enough.”
After a perfunctory appeal where Carrie’s lawyer argued against his client’s case, Carrie was sterilized on October 19, 1927. (This was six years before Germany’s Nazi regime passed the “Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring.”)
Later, Holmes reportedly told a friend, “One decision that I wrote gave me pleasure, establishing the constitutionality of a law permitting the sterilization of imbeciles.”
Carrie’s daughter, Vivian, lived with foster parents until she died shortly after her eighth birthday of an intestinal disease. By all indications, Vivian was a normal child who manifested no indications of imbecility.
“Holdren,” the second name in The Holmes-Holdren Reproductive Services Act refers to Dr. John P. Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Co-Chair of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).
In 1977, he co-authored “Ecoscience” with two other writers. The book is available on-line here. The following excerpts from “Ecoscience” are dual-referenced by both the paper-published pages/the on-line version pages. Holdren’s thinking represents the intellectual avant-garde thinking behind ObamaGenics.
“[U]nder the United States Constitution, effective population-control programs could be enacted under the clauses that empower Congress to appropriate funds to provide for the general welfare and to regulate commerce, or under the equal-protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Such laws constitutionally could be very broad. Indeed, it has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society (pp. 837-838/1280-1281)
“One way to carry out disapproval [of illegitimate childbearing] might be to insist that all illegitimate babies be put up for adoption -- especially those born to minors, who generally are not capable of caring properly for a child alone. If a single mother really wished to keep her baby, she might be obliged to go through adoption proceedings and demonstrate her ability to support and care for it...It would even be possible to require pregnant single women to marry or have abortions, perhaps as an alternative to placement for adoption, depending on the society. (786/1200-1201)
A program of sterilizing women after their second or third child…might be easier to implement than trying to sterilize men…The development of a long-term sterilizing capsule that could be implanted under the skin and removed when pregnancy is desired opens additional possibilities for coercive fertility control. The capsule could be implanted at puberty and might be removable, with official permission, for a limited number of births…Adding a sterilant to drinking water or staple foods is a suggestion that seems to horrify people more than most proposals for involuntary fertility control.” (pp. 787-788/1202-1203)
“Individual rights must be balanced against the power of the government to control human reproduction. Some people…have viewed the right to have children as a fundamental and inalienable right. Yet neither the Declaration of Independence nor the Constitution mentions a right to reproduce…Where the society has a "compelling, subordinating interest" in regulating population size, the right of the individual may be curtailed.” (pp. 838/1281)
So, what could we expect from ObamaGenics? Here’s a preview of five of its many possible features.
1. Compliance with the National Marriage Act (NMA) of 2015, outlined earlier at the American Thinker website, would require couples intending to have children to first submit the results of their personal genetic profile (PGP) to the government before being granted a federal parenting license (FPL).
2. To make ObamaCare even more of a cost-savings program than it already promises to be, those with certain negative genetic markers would not be granted a FPL. This will preclude healthcare costs arising from births from bad gene coupling (BGC).
3. The new Genetic Record Office (GRO), part of Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS), would, following the example of Iceland as reported by TIME magazine, “mine the gene pool of an entire country in search of root causes – and potential cures for – some of the world’s worst diseases.” As recently reported by some news outlets, DNA samples are already being spot-collected at police checkpoints.
4. A DHHS grant would fund the assignment of at least one Reproductive Services Counselor, trained by Planned Parenthood (PP), in every Independent School District in the nation. The larger districts would have proportionately more counselors. The reproductive services professionals would educate students on the availability of on-demand, no-cost abortions and, in cases where students have a record of previous pregnancies, counsel boys and girls to undergo painless sterilization procedures. The DHHS would incentivize voluntary sterilization by offering Wal-Mart and McDonald’s gift cards to participants in the program.
The role of PP is consistent with the organization’s founder, Margaret Sanger, who, on October 25, 1950, spoke at the annual meeting lunch of the Planned Parenthood Foundation election of America meeting at the Hotel Roosevelt in New York, and advocated “…decreasing the progeny of those human beings affiliated with transmissible diseases and dysgenic qualities of body and mind. While our present Federal Governmental Santa Clauses have their hands in the taxpayer's pockets, why not in their generous giving mood be constructive and provide for sterilizing as well as giving a pension, dole -- call it what you may -- to the feeble-minded and the victims of transmissible, congenital diseases? Such a program would be a sound future investment as well as a kindness to the couples themselves by preventing the birth of dozens of their progeny to become burdens, even criminals of another generation. It would save innocent children from the cruelty of being born to such parents.”
5. Youth, of both sexes, in juvenile detention facilities would be offered significant reductions in their sentences by voluntarily submitting to sterilization.
All this, and more, is needed. Citizen reproduction in America is too complex and too important to leave to the limited decision-making capabilities of individual citizens. As Obama Science Advisor John Holdren stated, “Individual rights must be balanced against the power of the government to control human reproduction.”
As individuals, we can’t know what’s best for the nation. It takes a big government staffed by big-brained experts to tell us what to do.
Lee Cary blogs at TeaParty911.com and other publications.