February 11, 2012
North Carolina Apologizes for Past Sterilizations. What about the Present?
In the earliest decades of the 20th century, progressives in America were captivated by eugenics, a scientific approach to human reproduction aimed at using sterilization and other methods to weed out the mentally incompetent, the economically challenged, and the racially inferior -- inferior according to those who were making the rules at the time. And although this is something we like to think of as happening then rather than now, a task force's new findings have uncovered North Carolinians who were sterilized as recently as 1974. Consider Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, who saw eugenics as a means to rid us of the poor, as well as to limit the births of black children. As she wrote in 1932, Sanger favored a "stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is already tainted, or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring." Sanger had been greatly impacted...(Read Full Article)