As a young conservative woman, I’ve had my fair share of discussions about body autonomy.
I am pro-life — maintaining that children inside the womb are separate beings from their mothers. I am an advocate for personal discretion on COVID vaccines (although not entirely anti-vax) and I maintain that every individual — born or unborn — reserves the right to his or her life, liberty and property, and should not be deprived of such without due process of law (14th amendment, anyone?).
Strangely, such stances have been a source of controversy in my lifetime and in the lifetimes of others before me, proving there is nothing new under the sun.
As the Biden administration flirts with door-to-door COVID vaccine promotion, I pause to wonder if we should worry about our body autonomy going forward?
Just take a look at what the government did as recently as a few decades ago.
“California is poised to approve reparations of up to $25,000 to some of the thousands of people — some as young as 13 — who were sterilized decades ago because the government deemed them unfit to have children,” the New York Post reported yesterday.
The move follows two states — Virginia and North Carolina — that previously attempted to right a horrific wrong, a crime against women with mental illnesses, physical disabilities or other “undesirable” traits that threatened the image of a more “perfect” human race.
According to the Post, California alone sterilized more than 20,000 people before repealing the Nazi-esque law in 1979 — and a few hundred victims are still alive to tell the tale.
The “eugenics movement” peaked in the 1930s, rooted in a bigoted Neo-Malthusian narrative that spun out of control and is reminiscent of some concepts and figures we hear about today (specifically Margaret Sanger, who founded an organization that would evolve into Planned Parenthood).
“Eugenics practices targeted the disabled, people of color, and poor people,” CNN wrote in an article announcing that Planned Parenthood of Greater New York now attempted to distance themselves from their past by removing Sanger’s name from their Manhattan Health Center.
“Margaret Sanger’s concerns and advocacy for reproductive health have been clearly documented, but so too has her racist legacy,” Karen Seltzer, the chair of PPGNY’s board, said.
Her racist legacy is clearly documented indeed.
USA Today reported on an article from 1923 entitled “A Better Race Through Birth Control,” in which Sanger wrote: “Given Birth Control, the unfit will voluntarily eliminate their kind. Birth Control does not mean contraception indiscriminately practised, it means the release and cultivation of the better elements in our society.”
But Sanger went a step further after speaking with a Ku Klux Klan group to advance the “Negro Project” for a “eugenics approach” to “the gradual suppression, elimination and eventual extinction, of defective stocks — those human weeds which threaten the blooming of the finest flowers of American civilization.”
Remnants of this movement’s bigoted mindset stain Planned Parenthood — and a segment of the past that now leaves victims of sterilization subject to reparations.
In the past, certain physical ailments or mental incapacities deemed women unfit for giving birth; now the same criteria deems certain children unfit for being born.
In California’s prisons, women were coerced into sterilization — a revelation first uncovered by the Center for Investigative Reporting in 2013, according to the New York Post’s report.
A subsequent audit revealed that the state had sterilized 144 women between 2005 and 2013, with “little or no evidence that officials counseled them or offered alternative treatment.”
Now, the state’s $262.6 billion budget on its way to Gov. Gavin Newsom‘s desk incorporates $7.5 million in reparations for the government’s crimes against humanity.
This regulated bigotry of the past echoes into today in some ways.
If I liken forced sterilization to abortion any further, people will say it’s an unfair assessment — after all, women were forced into sterilization but can opt for abortion.
At face value, the two concepts sound like complete opposites, but they’re actually two sides of the same coin, rooted in the same ideologies but now shrouded under the guises of “choice” and “empowerment.”
Now women — many of which are still poor — willingly engage in this grand scheme by walking into Planned Parenthood clinics across the nation.
The issue isn’t so much about women as it was in the past, but is rather about the children who suffer the consequences of others’ actions, the children some consider “unfit” to be born — many of which have been diagnosed with Down syndrome or have physical deformities which might negatively affect them in life.
Though Planned Parenthood can try to distinguish itself from its past sins, the left still embraces its legacy with open arms and champions the organization as ranking among women’s greatest advocates.
Minorities and the poor were the forgotten members of the past equation; now unborn children are the neglected group.
Neither had a voice for themselves and relied on others to take a stand.
It’s frightening to think of forced sterilization legally occurring in the United States as recently as the late 1970s — and even illegally occurring less than ten years ago — but it speaks volumes about the government’s ill intent.
Our officials can push vaccines, medical procedures, even sterilization on certain people in the name of “good,” but they aren’t the pawns who pay the price.
These women can never fully recover from what happened to them. They lost their only chance at motherhood without their own decisions at play.
Will the government make its next health intervention in the form of mandatory COVID vaccines?
Better yet, will they be paying out millions of dollars to compensate for long-term side effects in the future?
We are witnessing the greatest clinical trial of our time as the push for a new vaccine breed consumes our nation and our world.
Let’s hope the outcome is better than expected.
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