Eugenics Quote of the Day: Compulsory Abortion is Constitutional–says John Holdren


Indeed, it has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society. [HT]

Other quotes by John Holdren:


One way to carry out this disapproval might be to insist that all illegitimate babies be put up for adoption—especially those born to minors, who generally are not capable of caring properly for a child alone. If a single mother really wished to keep her baby, she might be obliged to go through adoption proceedings and demonstrate her ability to support and care for it. Adoption proceedings probably should remain more difficult for single people than for married couples, in recognition of the relative difficulty of raising children alone. It would even be possible to require pregnant single women to marry or have abortions, perhaps as an alternative to placement for adoption, depending on the society.


If some individuals contribute to general social deterioration by overproducing children, and if the need is compelling, they can be required by law to exercise reproductive responsibility—just as they can be required to exercise responsibility in their resource-consumption patterns—providing they are not denied equal protection.


In today’s world, however, the number of children in a family is a matter of profound public concern. The law regulates other highly personal matters. For example, no one may lawfully have more than one spouse at a time. Why should the law not be able to prevent a person from having more than two children?


Since the extent of most people’s knowledge of eugenics is just one sentence in a textbook, usually referring to the Nazis, they do not actually know or understand how eugenicists themselves viewed ‘eugenics.’  As an obvious consequence, they are unable to recognize eugenic measures, even when they happen right in front of their own eyes.  So it is the case that many people do not understand that abortion (and birth control, and sterilization, and genetic counseling, and population control, and…. and…) was always seen as a potent legal tool in the eugenic arsenal.  That is, there were the illegal tools, like throwing people into ovens (although that was legal in Germany) and there are legal tools… which pass constitutional muster.

As you can see, quote makes the argument directly.  Note that it was published post-Roe vs Wade, in 1977.  Many people think of events occurring only a year ago as ‘ancient’ and ‘irrelevant,’ so this quote, being forty years old, is, in their mind as pertinent as Plato’s plan for a perfect society.  Or, they assure themselves that the person who uttered the quote was some crank, or a member of a fringe element, who couldn’t possibly implement their viewpoints.  This quote undermines both lines of self-deception, because the one who uttered it, and the one who has never repudiated it, is John Holdren.

Who is John Holdren?

Only the chief science adviser to Barack Obama, aka the ‘science czar.’  RIGHT NOW. 

No worries, mate.  It’s not like he’s in a position to act on his ideas.

Learn more about John Holdren’s ideological pedigree, and some history of the eugenic fascination with abortion, here.

By the by, Holdren was probably resting his case for the constitutionality of compulsory abortion in part on the Buck vs. Bell decision, where Oliver Wendell Holmes likewise connected the dots directly, “The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes. Three generations of imbeciles are enough.” 

The legal basis for eugenics measures was laid by justifying coerced sanitation measures and other public health measures.  All eugenicists agree:  if you accept those conclusions, you should accept the logical implications.

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  1. […] us at our own game.”  It is the sitting chief science officer of the Obama administration, John Holdren, who argued that compulsory abortion was justifiable under the U.S. Constitution.   It’s not that the people in our country are more benevolent than the tyrants in other […]

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