The real question now before the Supreme Court is this: “Can the State force a woman to bear a child”?
Stated in that way, the issue becomes both clear and chilling. Because once that power is granted to government it can be expanded. If childbearing can be forced on women, states can also pass laws to force sterilization and abortion as well.
That may seem unthinkable at present, but we have been here before. Eugenics was the set of beliefs and practices aimed at improving the genetic quality of the human population; the selective breeding of the human race. And it is the government that determines which humans are biologically superior. And then determines which offspring are acceptable and which ones are not.
Beginning in the late nineteenth century, Eugenics lasted well into the twentieth. It was practiced to some extent in the United States and reached its zenith in nazi Germany. In the United States, emphasis was largely on “imbeciles.” Efforts included forced sterilization of the “unfit.” The last U. S. forced sterilization took place in 1964. But in nazi Germany, only Aryans were “desirable.” The concentration camps followed.
When the government is given power over human reproduction horrors can follow again, as they did before.
SCOTUS may soon hand power over human reproduction to the states. Congress must prevent another downhill slide into madness by passing the Women’s Protection Act.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.