Thursday, July 16

Eugenics at the Court and the Times

The story was first reported by the New York Times in an interview of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The justice's blithe comments about using abortion to control unwanted segments of the population were shocking, creepy, scandalous, and brazen.

Not surprisingly, her Eugenic-tone created shock-waves just about everywhere--well, just about everywhere except in the mainstream media. As Damian Thompson pointed out in the London Telegraph, "The mainstream media have completely ignored the story about one of the most powerful people in the country essentially endorsing Eugenics.... What the heck is going on here? What are we to make of the media’s complete silence on this issue? They don’t see a little Eugenics between friends as a big deal? They thought it was taken out of context?"

He goes on to assert, "As the large metropolitan newspapers die, they’re wondering why. This is why. You might think the New York Times might want to trumpet its exclusive. But the mindset of that pompous, prickly, boring, self-regarding publication is so overwhelmingly liberal that it didn’t even realise it had a story on its hands."

Of course, none of this is really news. As Linda DeMerle has observed the Left has never abandoned its historically cozy ties to the "scientific racism" of Eugenics pioneers like Planned Parenthood's Margaret Sanger. It's just the same ol' same ol' repackaged for modern consumption.

Alas, judging by the Sotomayor hearings, we moderns continue to consume it with abandon.


Lawrence Underwood said...

I know this is a reflection upon my ignorance, but I am continually amazed at the depths of partisanship that exist in the media. This is just one more glaring example. Couple the non-journalistic nature of our current media with the consumer driven, ignorant, self focused population and we have a recipe for disaster.

Linda said...

I can't help but wonder if the thing which the Elites and Liberal Leftists protect will one day consume them. We've seen it before in history: the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, Nazi Germany, and the list of Asian and African examples is too lengthy to mention.

Eric Sidler said...

I don't condone abortion, but I honestly don't see how Ginsburg's comment, put in context, clearly reveals her "endorsement" of eugenics. Until she further clarifies her statement, I think perhaps it might be useful to suspend judgment and give her the benefit of the doubt. To me, her comment, in context, seems only to say that she mistakenly thought that this was the prevailing view in support of Roe v. Wade, not that she herself endorsed eugenics. Here is her comment, in context:

Q: Are you talking about the distances women have to travel because in parts of the country, abortion is essentially unavailable, because there are so few doctors and clinics that do the procedure? And also, the lack of Medicaid for abortions for poor women?

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. Which some people felt would risk coercing women into having abortions when they didn’t really want them. But when the court decided McRae, the case came out the other way. And then I realized that my perception of it had been altogether wrong.

gileskirk said...

Eric: The problem is that Ginsburg uses the pronoun "we" in her statement about limiting unwanted people: "populations that we don't want to have to many of." As Melinda Hennenberger points out, "no one says we when expressing a viewpoint they find repugnant." See her helpful analysis at AOL's Politics Daily.

Besides, acknowledging the connection between high profile abortion advocates like Ginsburg and Eugenic racism is not exactly a novel notion. As Elizabeth Lev wrote in a Politics Daily piece in May, "Abortion rights and eugenics go back a ways."

Eric Sidler said...

Although Melinda Hennenberger may never use "we" when "expressing a viewpoint [she] find[s] repugnant," many people, including myself, have and do. The fact that this was an interview, and not a written statement, provides further reason to give Ginsburg the benefit of the doubt. If, by this statement, she was referring to her own personal view, then it wouldn't make sense for her to admit, in the last sentence of the above excerpt, that her perception of that was wrong.

Finally, that the link between abortion and eugenics is "not exactly a novel notion" does make it a correct notion as applied to Justice Ginsburg. Just as not all pro-lifers murder abortion providers or blow up clinics, not all abortion advocates are supporters of eugenics.

I say all this as someone who is opposed to abortion, but also as someone who desires fair-minded discourse. Thanks for listening.

gileskirk said...

Eric: The whole history of Ginsburg's jurisprudence demonstrates a close connection with the philosophy of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, and Eugenics. This one off-hand statement is hardly the only time she has demonstrated antipathy to those "populations that," she says, "we don't want to have many of."

The benefit of the doubt must be extended when we have little or no evidence otherwise--in Ginsburg's case we have a lifetime of extreme Leftist views in close concert with the worst of Modernist ideology. A "fair-minded discourse" cannot help but note this awful reality.

So, it is not at all inapt to assert that Ginsburg's "shocking, creepy, scandalous, and brazen" remarks to the Times are very much in character with her philosophy--and with the pro-abortion establishment now running our nation's civil sphere.

Allison said...

It is amazing to me, and not just a little disconcerting, that in recent months American current events have drawn numerous comments, and even warnings, from other countries. If I didn't believe in God's sovereignty, I'd require a straight jacket by now. The greatest challenge for me is knowing how to practically work out the Micah mandate, engaging our culture, with so many issues needing attention all at once.