US Justice Ginsburg: "populations that we don’t want to have too many of"

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by danpass, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. danpass macrumors 68020


    Jun 27, 2009
    Miami, FL

    Full article: page 4

    JUSTICE GINSBURG: Yes, the ruling about that surprised me. [Harris v. McRae — in 1980 the court upheld the Hyde Amendment, which forbids the use of Medicaid for abortions.] Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion.
  2. miloblithe macrumors 68020


    Nov 14, 2003
    Washington, DC
    So, what are you under the impression she meant by what she said?
  3. danpass thread starter macrumors 68020


    Jun 27, 2009
    Miami, FL
    same as Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood:

    “Birth control must lead ultimately to a cleaner race.”
    Margaret Sanger. Woman, Morality, and Birth Control. New York: New York Publishing Company, 1922. Page 12.

    “We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population. and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”
    Margaret Sanger’s December 19, 1939 letter to Dr. Clarence Gamble, 255 Adams Street, Milton, Massachusetts. Original source: Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, North Hampton, Massachusetts. Also described in Linda Gordon’s Woman’s Body, Woman’s Right: A Social History of Birth Control in America. New York: Grossman Publishers, 1976.

    “Eugenic sterilization is an urgent need ... We must prevent multiplication of this bad stock.”
    Margaret Sanger, April 1933 Birth Control Review.

    “Eugenics is … the most adequate and thorough avenue to the solution of racial, political and social problems.
    Margaret Sanger. “The Eugenic Value of Birth Control Propaganda.” Birth Control Review, October 1921, page 5.

    “Our failure to segregate morons who are increasing and multiplying ... demonstrates our foolhardy and extravagant sentimentalism ... [Philanthropists] encourage the healthier and more normal sections of the world to shoulder the burden of unthinking and indiscriminate fecundity of others; which brings with it, as I think the reader must agree, a dead weight of human waste. Instead of decreasing and aiming to eliminate the stocks that are most detrimental to the future of the race and the world, it tends to render them to a menacing degree dominant ... We are paying for, and even submitting to, the dictates of an ever-increasing, unceasingly spawning class of human beings who never should have been born at all.”
    Margaret Sanger. The Pivot of Civilization, 1922. Chapter on “The Cruelty of Charity,” pages 116, 122, and 189. Swarthmore College Library edition.

    “The undeniably feeble-minded should, indeed, not only be discouraged but prevented from propagating their kind.”
    Margaret Sanger, quoted in Charles Valenza. “Was Margaret Sanger a Racist?” Family Planning Perspectives, January-February 1985, page 44.

    “The third group [of society] are those irresponsible and reckless ones having little regard for the consequences of their acts, or whose religious scruples prevent their exercising control over their numbers. Many of this group are diseased, feeble-minded, and are of the pauper element dependent upon the normal and fit members of society for their support. There is no doubt in the minds of all thinking people that the procreation of this group should be stopped.”
    Margaret Sanger. Speech quoted in Birth Control: What It Is, How It Works, What It Will Do. The Proceedings of the First American Birth Control Conference. Held at the Hotel Plaza, New York City, November 11-12, 1921. Published by the Birth Control Review, Gothic Press, pages 172 and 174.

    “The marriage bed is the most degenerative influence in the social order...”
    Margaret Sanger (editor). The Woman Rebel, Volume I, Number 1. Reprinted in Woman and the New Race. New York: Brentanos Publishers, 1922.

    “[Our objective is] unlimited sexual gratification without the burden of unwanted children...”
    Margaret Sanger (editor). The Woman Rebel, Volume I, Number 1. Reprinted in Woman and the New Race. New York: Brentanos Publishers, 1922.

    “Give dysgenic groups [people with ‘bad genes’] in our population their choice of segregation or [compulsory] sterilization.”
    Margaret Sanger, April 1932 Birth Control Review.
  4. OutThere macrumors 603


    Dec 19, 2002
    People will probably assume that she was being racist. Certainly everyone in the comments section of the first link thinks that.

    I'll counter and say that the legalization of abortion may well have had considerable impact on the crack epidemic, as poor, urban people who did not want children were allowed to have abortions. The legalization of abortion was roughly 17 years before crack quickly became considerably less of a problem. Could this have been because these 'populations' of underprivileged, underemployed, urban poor didn't have children who would grow into drugs and crime in their teens? Just pondering...
  5. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Feb 2, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    I don't see the problem with the statement. You are basically force breeding children into poverty stricken areas simply because abortion isn't accessible to them.

    If you can't afford an abortion how are we expecting someone to afford food and care for a kid? I am not saying we should force abortion but we should provide a choice.

    This is one issue that I don't agree with most conservatives on. You are going to whine on one side about welfare babies/mothers and then on the other side you won't even provide proper contraception. Then after the contraception wasn't administered you want to withdrawal the right to choose abortion?

    This has nothing to do with race and everything to do with means to provide for a kid.
  6. freeny macrumors 68020


    Sep 27, 2005
    Location: Location:
  7. Gelfin macrumors 68020


    Sep 18, 2001
    Denver, CO
    The noise machine is clearly spinning up to paint this as some sort of horrible admission by Ginsburg, but there isn't really much that is controversial there.

    At the time Roe was decided, there was indeed much concern about population growth, and one of the rationales for legalizing abortion was indeed stemming what was seen as unsustainable growth.

    Furthermore, at the time Roe was decided there was rampant speculation within the civil rights movement that interest in legalized abortion was a conspiracy by a racist white power elite aimed at sharply reducing the African American population because poor women are more likely to find themselves unable to care for a child, and black Americans are disproportionately poor.

    A more generalized form of the same concern appeared within the feminist movement: Once government took an active interest in reproduction, some feminists suspected, they would only end up with a more sinister sort of constrained reproductive rights, wherein "society" subtly vets who is worthy of reproducing and encourages everyone else to terminate. Naturally the right to have a child if one chooses is considered as valuable as the right not to.

    Today the abortion issue is highly polarized with clearly drawn lines and dead-horse arguments. It wasn't always that way. The abortion debate was very complicated and nuanced on all sides. The fact that Ginsburg was a part of that debate, and didn't preternaturally arrive at the modern view of it should not be especially surprising, and it is unclear why anyone thinks we should hold a recounting of that history to be damning.
  8. Ugg macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2003
    It was of course the American practice of Eugenics that inspired Hitler.

    I agree though with Zombie Acorn that if a woman can't afford an abortion, how can she afford to raise a kid?

    A number of years ago, a woman volunteer for Planned Parenthood paid women addicts a couple of hundred dollars to be implanted with Norplant (a ~ten year contraceptive). Of course a huge outcry resulted but at the time I remember thinking that it made perfect sense. There is no honor in bringing drug damaged children in to the world.
  9. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

    Jan 30, 2004
    having a drink at Milliways
    i think you are reading her answer backward.
    her is not a eugenistic position, and certainly not racist.
  10. mobilehaathi macrumors G3


    Aug 19, 2008
    The Anthropocene
    This is a complicated statement that many seem to be grossly misinterpreting. She is not advocating eugenics at all.

    This is correct. People are reading her answer ass backwards.
  11. Desertrat macrumors newbie

    Jul 4, 2003
    Terlingua, Texas
    I read what looked to be a fairly full bit of "thinking out loud" by Ginsberg, and it seemed to me she was talking more of other people's perceptions than of her own views. IOW, her own views aren't really known with absolute clarity.

    I just don't see much to get all exercised about...

    I dunno. I've never been able to get excited about it. Just as soon it were legal, really, since women have been getting abortions since long before I was born. Better to do it in clean medical facilities than have some alky ex-MD do the back-alley thing.

  12. abijnk macrumors 68040


    Oct 15, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Wow. Well said. I completely agree.
  13. miloblithe macrumors 68020


    Nov 14, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Well said. Couldn't agree more.

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