Liddick: Population, progeny and politics
Ryan Summerlin April 21, 2014
“[We should] apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is tainted, or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring.” — Margaret Sanger, Birth Control Review, April 1932
Anyone finding the above disturbing is in good company. Anyone not recognizing the author as one of the founders of Planned Parenthood needs to brush up on their American history.
The branch of medicine carrying the anodyne title “Reproductive Health Services” has a long and sordid past — which may help to explain why it attracts partisans willing to mask its most repugnant practices with the name of “freedom.” Why this segment of society believes that the legal ability of a doctor to dismember an unborn child in its mother’s womb, because she wishes it, is an indispensable cornerstone of that mother’s freedom as an individual may be incomprehensible, but they believe it. Further, it seems to be a doctrine of faith with the ascendant Progressive wing of the Democrat party.
Witness the recent Colorado Senate Bill 175, the grotesquely-titled “Reproductive Health Freedom Act,” which proposes a number of “entitlements,” including the right to make decisions “free from discrimination, coercion or violence.” This seems unobjectionable until one asks the innocent question “would the inability to pay for an abortion constitute discrimination?” Do not doubt, the answer is “yes,” which creates serious problems.
Section one of the bill posits entitlements to “make reproductive health care decisions without interference from the state,” and to have access to information “based on current evidence-based scientific data and medical consensus.” This is an attempt to remove those pesky emotional and religious objections to any “reproductive health care decision,” including abortion of any type, but again — in their enthusiasm, the authors have forgotten their history. Not too long ago eugenics, represented by the sentiment at the top of the column, was a widely-accepted example of “evidence-based scientific data and medical consensus.”
Section two of the bill opines that action is necessary “for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety.” Possibly because of the rampaging, torch-and-pitchfork-bearing mobs destroying clinics across our fair state.
Despite the manifest threat to public safety, the bill’s sponsors spiked it last Wednesday. Perhaps they realized that, when the Catholic Archbishop and Greek Orthodox Metropolitan appear together on the Capitol steps to oppose your bill, you are in very deep, indeed.
The real safety issue is that of Democrat control of the state legislature. The party of Obama obviously thinks it can continue to rule Colorado through fear, ginning up the shopworn bogeyman of a Republican “war on women.” Coming from the party whose immediate past president was a serial sex offender and whose present leader pays his female employees 87 percent of what males receive, the accusation is both pathetic and hilarious.
Transparent hypocrisy aside, SB 175 does offer opportunity. I’d like to see the government out of this contentious area, and I think many Coloradoans would agree. But if there is to be no “interference,” so there should be no subsidy. Not one thin dime of government money should go to support any aspect of “reproductive health services,” ever, anywhere.
By the same logic that sees government controls on abortion services and abortifacients as violating “a woman’s right to choose,” government’s forcing those with moral or religious objections to pay for these services through taxes violates the right of this group to follow its beliefs, so that must go as well. Remember, as it is unconstitutional for Congress to establish a religion, so it is impermissible to “prohibit the free exercise thereof.” Said free exercise not being confined solely to churchgoing, despite the fevered argument of the Left.
Halting government support removes this issue to the back burner of politics, where it belongs. There will never be agreement between those who support unqualified access to abortion services and those who regard these services as an unqualified evil, so the political question cannot be the appropriateness of the act; that is for the woman, the provider, the victims, and whatever deity they choose to acknowledge to decide. Politics asks instead “who pays, and how?” Removing the government, its oversight and its money from the equation can return the problem to its appropriate sphere: that of individual morality, belief and, yes, freedom.
It’s a forlorn hope; there’s too much political hay to be made by both sides on this issue to expect a logical solution, or even a reasonable compromise. Instead, expect what Sen. Andy Kerr, one of the bill’s co-sponsors, called “D.C-style politics” to continue. There’s an election to win, after all — by any means necessary.
No matter whose “progeny” gets sacrificed.
Morgan Liddick lives in Summit County.
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