eugenics


Eugenics in Roe v. Wade

by John Cavanaugh-O’Keefe Editor’s note: this is an excerpt from the book The Roots of Racism and Abortion: An Exploration of Eugenics, pp. 151-153.   The 1973 Supreme Court decisions that ended all legal protection of unborn children were based on eugenics. Despite that, comments about the decisions usually focus on privacy and women’s rights,…


How Ableism Led (and Leads) to Abortion

by Sarah Terzo   Part 1 of 2; Part 2 is How Euthanasia and Poverty Threaten the Disabled.   To be truly pro-life is to value all human beings. People are valuable not because of what we can do but because of what we are: human beings. For pro-lifers, people are not judged by how…


Post-World War II Eugenics

by John Cavanaugh-O’Keefe Editor’s note: this is an excerpt from the book The Roots of Racism and Abortion: An Exploration of Eugenics, pp. 114-116. The dominant figure in American eugenics after World War II was a complex individual, Frederick Osborn (1889-1981). He is credited with reforming eugenics, removing the taint of racism and putting the…


Sterilizing the “Unfit”

by John Cavanaugh-O’Keefe Editor’s note: this is an excerpt from the book The Roots of Racism and Abortion: An Exploration of Eugenics, pp. 64-66   In the 1920s, eugenicists in the United States and elsewhere pressed hard for sterilization laws, to give physicians and the heads of institutions the authority to sterilize their patients, with…


The Jukes and Kallikaks “Studies”

by John Cavanaugh-O’Keefe Editor’s note: this is an excerpt from the book The Roots of Racism and Abortion: An Exploration of Eugenics, pp. 52-54 In 1877, Richard Dugdale published a study of a family whom he called the “Jukes” family. He referred to a mother several generations back in the family as “Margaret, the mother…


Plato’s Words about Eugenics

by John Cavanaugh-O’Keefe Editor’s note: this is an excerpt from the book The Roots of Racism and Abortion: An Exploration of Eugenics, pp. 15-16 Plato was a Greek philosopher who lived from about 427 BC to about 347 BC. His thought had a tremendous impact on all of Western culture. One of his greatest works…


Would Nonviolence Work on the Nazis?

by Rachel MacNair   While it took time to realize the extent of the Nazis’ brutality, the night of November 9-10, 1938, gave intense warning that Jews were in great danger. Hundreds of synagogues and thousands of businesses were attacked with sledgehammers. Several dozen Jews were killed, in what became known as Kristallnacht, the Night…


The Tragedy of Carrie Buck: A Review of Imbeciles by Adam Cohen

by Mary Lou Bennett     In his 2016 book, Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck, Adam Cohen recounts one of America’s great miscarriages of justice—the Supreme Court’s 1927 ruling in Buck v. Bell. This dark moment in history upheld a statute instituting compulsory sterilization of those deemed unfit…