IS THAT A SKELETON IN YOUR CLOSET OR ARE YOU JUST HAPPY TO SEE ME?

Friday, February 17th, 2012 | Uncategorized

Either’s Sinner is slipping or we’re getting to him.  Everybody’s favorite Kiwi fake Anglican traditionalist directs the Editorial attention to something that Murder Inc. and the rest of the left pray to whatever it is that such people pray to that everyone would really rather forget, thank you very much:

Does the past matter? When confronted by facts that are uncomfortable, but which relate to people long dead, should we put them aside and, to use a phrase very much of our time, move on? And there’s a separate, but related, question: how should we treat the otherwise admirable thought or writings of people when we discover that those same people also held views we find repugnant?

It is eugenics, the belief that society’s fate rested on its ability to breed more of the strong and fewer of the weak. So-called positive eugenics meant encouraging those of greater intellectual ability and “moral worth” to have more children, while negative eugenics sought to urge, or even force, those deemed inferior to reproduce less often or not at all. The aim was to increase the overall quality of the national herd, multiplying the thoroughbreds and weeding out the runts.

Such talk repels us now, but in the prewar era it was the common sense of the age. Most alarming, many of its leading advocates were found among the luminaries of the Fabian and socialist left, men and women revered to this day. Thus George Bernard Shaw could insist that “the only fundamental and possible socialism is the socialisation of the selective breeding of man”, even suggesting, in a phrase that chills the blood, that defectives be dealt with by means of a “lethal chamber”.

Such thinking was not alien to the great Liberal titan and mastermind of the welfare state, William Beveridge, who argued that those with “general defects” should be denied not only the vote, but “civil freedom and fatherhood”. Indeed, a desire to limit the numbers of the inferior was written into modern notions of birth control from the start. That great pioneer of contraception, Marie Stopes – honoured with a postage stamp in 2008 – was a hardline eugenicist, determined that the “hordes of defectives” be reduced in number, thereby placing less of a burden on “the fit”. Stopes later disinherited her son because he had married a short-sighted woman, thereby risking a less-than-perfect grandchild.

I’m afraid even the Manchester Guardian was not immune. When a parliamentary report in 1934 backed voluntary sterilisation of the unfit, a Guardian editorial offered warm support, endorsing the sterilisation campaign “the eugenists soundly urge”. If it’s any comfort, the New Statesman was in the same camp.

We could respond to all this the way we react when reading of Churchill’s dismissal of Gandhi as a “half-naked fakir” or indeed of his own attraction to eugenics, by saying it was all a long time ago, when different norms applied. That is a common response when today’s left-liberals are confronted by the eugenicist record of their forebears, reacting as if it were all an accident of time, a slip-up by creatures of their era who should not be judged by today’s standards.

Except this was no accident. The Fabians, Sidney and Beatrice Webb and their ilk were not attracted to eugenics because they briefly forgot their leftwing principles. The harder truth is that they were drawn to eugenics for what were then good, leftwing reasons.

They believed in science and progress, and nothing was more cutting edge and modern than social Darwinism. Man now had the ability to intervene in his own evolution. Instead of natural selection and the law of the jungle, there would be planned selection. And what could be more socialist than planning, the Fabian faith that the gentlemen in Whitehall really did know best? If the state was going to plan the production of motor cars in the national interest, why should it not do the same for the production of babies? The aim was to do what was best for society, and society would clearly be better off if there were more of the strong to carry fewer of the weak.

63 Comments to IS THAT A SKELETON IN YOUR CLOSET OR ARE YOU JUST HAPPY TO SEE ME?

David Fischler
February 17, 2012

Once you’ve been playing a part for too long, you begin to forget that you aren’t actually that character. Sinner seems to have overdone the greasepaint.

dwstroudmd+
February 17, 2012

It was not just the Brits and the Germans. The President of the American Eugenics Society warned in the mid-1930′s that unless Americans stepped up their efforts, they were going to be surpassed by the Germans in application of eugenics.

If you wonder why no one can be sterilised with government funding under the age of 21, or why a court order is needed for the same on those under 21 regardless of funding source, you need only look to the excesses of the American eugenics movement which forcibly sterilized those considered unfit to reproduce.

“State laws were written in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to prohibit marriage and force sterilization of the mentally ill in order to prevent the “passing on” of mental illness to the next generation. These laws were upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1927 and were not abolished until the mid-20th century. All in all, 60,000 Americans were sterilized. In 1907 Indiana became the first of more than thirty states to adopt legislation aimed at compulsory sterilization of certain individuals.[76] Although the law was overturned by the Indiana Supreme Court in 1921,[77] the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of a Virginia law allowing for the compulsory sterilization of patients of state mental institutions in 1927.[78]

The most significant era of eugenic sterilization was between 1907 and 1963, when over 64,000 individuals were forcibly sterilized under eugenic legislation in the United States.[84] A favorable report on the results of sterilization in California, the state with the most sterilizations by far, was published in book form by the biologist Paul Popenoe and was widely cited by the Nazi government as evidence that wide-reaching sterilization programs were feasible and humane.

When Nazi administrators went on trial for war crimes in Nuremberg after World War II, they justified the mass sterilizations (over 450,000 in less than a decade) by citing the United States as their inspiration.[75] The Nazis had claimed American eugenicists inspired and supported Hitler’s racial purification laws, and failed to understand the connection between those policies and the eventual genocide of the Holocaust.[93]

In the USA, eugenic supporters included Theodore Roosevelt,[100] Research was funded by distinguished philanthropies and carried out at prestigious universities.[101] It was taught in college and high school classrooms.[102] Margaret Sanger founded Planned Parenthood of America to urge the legalization of contraception for poor, immigrant women.[103] In its time eugenics was touted by some as scientific and progressive,[89] the natural application of knowledge about breeding to the arena of human life. Before the realization of death camps in World War II, the idea that eugenics would lead to genocide was not taken seriously by the average American.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenics#United_States

That skeleton is risen from its coffin, if indeed it ever were contained.

Smurf Breath
February 17, 2012

Funny the things they don’t teach you in school.

dwstroudmd+
February 17, 2012

Yes, Smurf Breath, it is amazing what one can learn reading first editions of Margaret Sanger’s works in the University of Virginia Library while doing residency in the 1980′s.

Paula Loughlin
February 17, 2012

I do believe that the Scopes Trial also had a connection with the new science of eugenics. Here is an article on that subject.

http://www.eugenics-watch.com/roots/chap08.html

Allen Lewis
February 17, 2012

The ultimate control: telling people whether they are “fit” to have children or not. I would not have survived a rigorous application of eugenics.

I have a contempt for people who think they know what is best for the rest of us for that sole reason. Which is why I will never support a candidate in the Democratic party.

John
February 17, 2012

How about that libertarian/conservative icon Ayn Rand. She said-
“Achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life, and that happiness, not pain or mindless self-indulgence, is the proof of your moral integrity, since it is the proof and the result of your loyalty to the achievement of your values.” and “Ask yourself whether the dream of heaven and greatness should be waiting for us in our graves – or whether it should be ours here and now and on this earth.”

Paula Loughlin
February 17, 2012

The comments over at the article show that the Left have an adverse reaction to facts both current and historical.

I must admit there was support from certain Christian clergy for eugenics. It should surprise no one that it was Catholic and Evangelical Christians who spoke against it.

The link is to a review of the book: “Preaching Eugenics: Religious Leaders and the American Eugenics Movement.”

http://www.newoxfordreview.org/reviews.jsp?did=1006-gardiner

Fuinseoig
February 17, 2012

Sinner is not the worst. He(? Am I being presumptuous in assigning gender categories?) does make good points occasionally, and when he is doing his “frothing conservative fundamentalist” thing, it’s such a caricature that I for one cannot find it in myself to be offended (I’m a lot more offended by Richard Dawkins equating teaching your child to say “God bless Daddy and Mummy and me and sister and brother and Fluffy the cat” at bedtime with being the same thing as throwing them into a wall hard enough to break their collar bone – because teaching a child their parents’ religious tradition is child abuse).

Sinner
February 17, 2012

Not at all – I’m glad you’re reading the Guardian for a change. After all it’s probably the highest-profile “leftist-athiest” newspaper site on the web.

As a “liberal” I don’t try to avoid unpleasant facts about the past — whether it’s the history of western eugenics, the massacres in New Zealand’s colonial history (both of New Zealand and of Samoa, mostly), slavery in the US, and the Anglican church’s shameful participation in most of the above.

Sinner
February 17, 2012

Achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life

That doesn’t make her a libertarian/conservative – it just makes her American.

After all isn’t “The Pursuit of Happiness” an inalienable right, just below domestic ownership of large-calibre automatic firearms, and just above — I dunno, the right of undocumented immigrants to be counted as three-fifths of a person?

Fuinseoig
February 17, 2012

And the sad thing is reading the June 1932 issue of “Birth Control Review” (founded by Margaret Sanger) which was entitled The Negro Number and given over to educated and eminent African-Americans of the day to call for and proselytise birth control amongst the black population of the United States.

Sad, because the litany of disadvantage and disparity in health and life expectancy between the black and white populations is pitiful to read, and because the only cure that is apparent to the writers of the article is to kill off the poor – if a mother and wife is forced to work in order to support a family (because her husband has so little in the way of job opportunities) then – instead of calling for community support for maternal health and equality of opportunity – the suggested panacea is to instruct her in birth control so that she will not have so large a family to support on her meagre wages!

In the words of one contributor: “Why should the Negroes who are conducting a desperate struggle against the social and economic forces aimed at their destruction continue to enrich the morticians and choke the jails with unwanted children? It were far better to have less children and improve the social and physical wellbeing of those they have.”

And eugenics rears its ugly head:

“After all, a woman is biologically a child factory,
as a cow is a milk factory and a hen an egg factory. Certain ingredients of a certain quality are necessary to produce a healthy child under proper conditions of rest and security. If these are
absent, the child will usually be an inferior product.
Unfortunately, the offspring of the lower economic
classes fill the morgues, jails and hospitals largely
for this very reason.

…The question for Negroes is this: Shall they go
in for quantity or quality in children? Shall they
brlng children into the world to enrich the undertakers, the physicians and furnish work for social workers and jailers, or shall they produce children who are going to be an asset to the group and to American society. Most Negroes, especially the
women, would go in for quality production if they
only knew how.”

Smurf Breath
February 17, 2012

I must admit there was support from certain Christian clergy for eugenics.

Paula, there’s a difference. You can show how Christian scriptures and worldview contradict this. But this is an almost necessary outcome of the elite liberal mindset. To them the rest of humanity are so many widgets for them to arrange in demographic patterns that they find aesthetically appealing. Had the holocaust not have happened, would they have been so blind to press forward with it? I don’t know.

Sinner
February 17, 2012

it’s such a caricature that I for one cannot find it in myself to be offended

caricature? what’s a caricature? Greg Matt & Sarah over at StandFirm apparently do consider abortion state-sponsored genocide (and that anyone who doesn’t agree isn’t a Christian). I’m “offended by that” — but if anything, I’m even more “offended” that they think running a blog and voting republican counts as an acceptable non-pacifist Christian response to systematic genocide.

Now I read that Virginian state law will require doctors to forcibly sexually abuse women patients . Is that one going up on the front page?

Now, anyone prepared to agree that Obama “saved” GM? Didn’t think so.

Katherine
February 17, 2012

Sinner is right to say that ignoring history, including the bad parts, is dangerous. Ignoring the good parts can be dangerous, too.

Compensation for surviving victims of forced sterilization is under discussion here in North Carolina. Most of the victims are black.

FW Ken
February 17, 2012

Ayn Rand was an atheist. Most of her devotees (male, I’ve read) move beyond her by college graduation. I got an early start and was done with her before that.

it just makes her American.

Arguably true.

Katherine
February 17, 2012

If you are offended by Greg, Matt, and Sarah, you should tell them that rather than imputing their opinions, or your opinion of their opinions, to everyone else on the same general side of the religious divide.

The “forcible sexual abuse” argument from that pro-abortion site is pretty weak. The woman is going to undergo a pelvic exam including the insertion of fingers or an instrument in order to get an abortion to begin with. Plus, women can’t get prescriptions for birth control pills without a pelvic exam.

Allen Lewis
February 17, 2012

Katherine-
This is nothing more than an attempt to cast the Republican Party as a bunch of misogynists who advocate state-sponsored rape of women. It is a lie and a damnable one at that. But that is par for the hysterical Womyn’s Movement.

Most people who participate in sexual activity are not thinking of the consequences of such activity; particularly the possibility of conception. The vehemence of the opposition to educating young women about what they are doing when they elect to abort a pregnancy demonstrates the fear that pro-choicers have that women will begin to realize the magnitude of what that choice portends.

That is why the whole debate is filled with such hysteria and hyperbole.

JM
February 17, 2012

While we are all offended by the eugenics often advocated by the left, we should not blind ourselves to the results of the policies of the left. The great liberal icons you cite said they wanted to have government intervene to discourage procreation by defectives or other persons who were deemed of lesser worth. That’s not what actually occurred. What the welfare state has done is just the opposite: it has subsidized production of children by the people who are least able to raise and support them. It has created a mostly permanent class of people dependent on government assistance. Now, if there is a vestibe of eugenics remainin in the left, perhaps it is recognition of this unintended consequence that prompts the current federal policy of free contraception for all. Of course, the welfare class is also entitled to vote, and when driven to the polling place votes heavily for liberal Democrats, so they don’t want to reduce the numbers of the welfare-dependent too greatly.

Sinner
February 17, 2012

The “forcible sexual abuse” argument from that pro-abortion site is pretty weak. The woman is going to undergo a pelvic exam including the insertion of fingers or an instrument in order to get an abortion to begin with.

really? not if it’s a pregnancy at 2 weeks and all they’re need is Mifepristone.

Besides: surely the big argument is freedom of religion and unreasonable search and seizure for a start.

If you’re happy with this – why not mandatory anal probles for every bearded male air traveller in the US. After all, those terrorists are male, and it’s still voluntary, you don’t have to travel.

Sinner
February 18, 2012

an attempt to cast the Republican Party as a bunch of misogynists

There’s no “attempt” needed their. The House panel did that very nicely thank you.

who advocate state-sponsored rape of women

“rape” was your word, which is fine by me, although I just called it sexual abuse.

What would happen to a doctor who did this kind of medically unnecessary inspection? In NZ, he’d should be struck off and jailed for sex abuse.

Just this behavior is now mandated by several US states.

Please explain how this law “protects the conscience” of – for example – a woman whose religions beliefs (Randian Objectivism) positively encourages abortion, or her doctor, working at Planned Parenthood doctor, whose religion (Episcopalianism) considers abortion as a sacrement.

Sinner
February 18, 2012

Most people who participate in sexual activity are not thinking of the consequences of such activity; particularly the possibility of conception.

Oh come on. Most people who participate in sexual activity are very aware of the consequences of such activity, which is why they want contraception and abortion covered in their health insurance

The vehemence of the opposition to educating young women about what they are doing when they elect to abort a pregnancy demonstrates the fear that pro-choicers have that women will begin to realize the magnitude of what that choice portends.

The vehemence of the opposition to educating young people of either gender about what they are doing when they elect to have sex (including safe sex practices, contraception, and abortion) demonstrates the fear that the anti-abortionists have, that women will begin to realize that understanding and controlling their own body is self-evidently an unalienable Right endowed by their Creator.

Which part of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” don’t you understand?
Or failing even that “the consent of the governed”. Or are you making an originalist argument that women – unlike corporations – are not people?

Sinner
February 18, 2012

If you are offended by Greg, Matt, and Sarah, you should tell them that rather than imputing their opinions, or your opinion of their opinions, to everyone else on the same general side of the religious divide.

You’re right: I probably should’t have named them.

The point remains. Considering only posts here, that “Midwest Conservatives” consider abortion not just murder, but state sanctioned genocide; and that anyone not sharing at least that ‘opinion’ is not a Christian.

Paula Loughlin
February 18, 2012

Sinner, Who wrote that women should not be able to control her own body. I’m all for self restraint.

No we’re making the argument that there is another human being involved that has a body of his or her own. If this was about the woman’s body I doubt unless the discussion was self mutilation or suicide that anyone would raise an objection to what she did with her body.

Muerknz
February 18, 2012

Sinner:

Re: medically unnecessary internal exams you’ll find it happens all the time to women – with good intentions. Women in labour are often given internal exams that aren’t really required, I know because I’ve had four high risk pregnancies and births. Midwives are far less likely to do an internal whereas doctors seem to do them far more (from my experience).

Doctors love data, and so they do tests and exams, even when it’s possibly unnecessary because they come from a medical standpoint. So for example when I was bleeding very early in my last pregnancy I was given a vaginal ultrasound to see if my son was still alive. Really I could have just waited and seen what happened down the track. If I was miscarrying it’s not as though they could stop it. Thankfully my son was born healthy.

As for a vaginal ultrasound being sexual abuse that’s just rubbish. The sonographers that have performed the ultrasounds on me were utterly professional and completely above board. It’s deeply disrespectful to them to describe what they do as sexual assault or rape as some have described it.

Better a woman has an ultrasound and with that full information maybe she will avoid an abortion, than to go through an abortion and then suffer the deep regret and loss later on if she comes to realise what, or rather who, she terminated.

It’s utterly patronising to women to keep information back from them to protect them, when the proper thing to do is to give them as much information as possible so they can make a free and informed decision.

Sinner
February 18, 2012

medically unnecessary internal exams you’ll find it happens all the time to women – with good intentions

Let’s be clear: we’re talking about penetrative exams that neither the woman nor her doctors consider necessary, and that are mandated by state law

If America stands for anything it cannot be that such exams are routine.
Frankly, if they are, I don’t understand why 50% of the population doesn’t emigrate to other English speaking countries that have a more robust idea of freedom

It’s deeply disrespectful to them to describe what they do as sexual assault or rape as some have described it.

Of course it’s not rape: because you consented on the advice of your doctor. It’s not rape and I didn’t say it was rape.

Understand this: the new Virginian law, and similar laws in other states – mandate such exams to which you have not consented and which your doctor doesn’t consider necessary. (I’m drinking and watching American Idol: I can gloss that into four-letter words if you’d like). Please point to the articles in your constitution, or for that matter to the articles in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights that permits the state to mandate this.

It’s utterly patronising to women to keep information back from them to protect them, when the proper thing to do is to give them as much information as possible so they can make a free and informed decision.

Muerknz: I agree with every word you have written in the above paragraph – although we may differ on a few points of interpretation. As I hope I’ve explained above, it must be possible to inform women without invasive sexual examinations that neither they nor their doctors consider necessary.

Honestly, Muerknz, I haven’t seen a better summation of the pro-choice arguments anywhere. I’d probably add that society, embodied by the state, should provide generous support to women, whatever they choose: whether it is contraception, abortion, adoption, solo parenthood, same-sex parenthood, defacto parenthood, extended families, or, well, a suburban nuclear family where the mother is married to the biological father.

Sinner
February 18, 2012

Paula

No we’re making the argument that there is another human being involved that has a body of his or her own

right. And that is the crux of the disagreement. I think it should be possible to agree on many other things: I don’t know that many people who would support abortion of an otherwise viable, healthy & normal fetus. I do not. Once a fetus is clearly viable, the mother should be supported to bring it to term, and if she is unable to act as a parent to the child — with whatever support we can offer her — then the child should be supported into an adoptive family.

But unlike you, I believe many women choose to prevent implantation of an embryo, or choose induce a miscarriage of an unviable fetus who is less than 3/5ths of a full person – and that this is much less than murder. I believe that the example of Jesus, who (completely against the mores of his time) recognized women as human beings who could make moral choices like anyone else, means our states and laws should grant women freedom in this area. But, as I wrote above, I think it is incumbent on society (in practice, upon the state) to provide women – actually to provide families of whatever composition – with as much support as they can to raise their children, and to make their choices.

But you believe governments the world over are conspiring in a massive paedogenocide. I hope you have thought long and hard about how you act on that belief: my own moral framework would mean I’d have to consider this a worse crime than the genocides of Hitler, Stalin, Mao & Pol Pot combined, after all, abortion has induced more miscarriages than they killed. I’m not a pacifist: were I faced with a horror of such magnitude I hope I would have the courage of my convictions and my ancestors. (My father served as Bomber Command aircrew, where the death rate, excluding wounded & POWs, was 45%; My grandfather landed at Gallipoli and fought at the Somme in the New Zealand DIvision – loss rate 75%.)

Muerknz
February 18, 2012

Sinner:

I don’t think a vaginal ultrasound is sexual. I’ve had them, I’ve also had smears and internal exams and never, ever, have they been sexual in nature. I know you didn’t use the term “rape” but I have seen others do so which was why I mentioned it.

Personally I think women do need an ultrasound to have fully informed consent when it comes to an abortion. Also I do think there are medical reasons to have an ultrasound, dating the fetus is important because it changes which procedure the doctor will use to terminate him or her.

Personally though I’m not in favour of this law, I think it would be far better for governments to state that there is a right to life from conception and to work with supporting mothers through their pregnancies and with what they decide to do afterwards.

Whilst I realise not everyone believes in personhood from conception I think it’s far more humane to assume personhood than to deny it.

LaVallette
February 18, 2012

One of the great Anti-eugenics heroes:

Cardinal Clemens August von Galen, Bishop of Münster (1933-1946): Against the Nazis within Germany at the height of Nazi power!

midwestnorwegian
February 18, 2012

With headlines like:

“The old monster Rupert Murdoch finds his elixir with his back against the wall”, (and goes on to compare Murdoch to Caligula), it’s a mystery why sensible people of whatever political/social persuasion don’t read The Guardian more often.

Donald R. McClarey
February 18, 2012

Pope Pius XI in 1930 condemned eugenics in regard to the State forbidding people to marry on the ground of eugenics and the forced sterilization of people deemed “mentally defective”, a practice shamefully upheld by the United States Supreme Court in a decision written by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes in Buck v. Bell (1927. Here is part of the encyclical of the Pope:

68. Finally, that pernicious practice must be condemned which closely touches upon the natural right of man to enter matrimony but affects also in a real way the welfare of the offspring. For there are some who over solicitous for the cause of eugenics, not only give salutary counsel for more certainly procuring the strength and health of the future child – which, indeed, is not contrary to right reason – but put eugenics before aims of a higher order, and by public authority wish to prevent from marrying all those whom, even though naturally fit for marriage, they consider, according to the norms and conjectures of their investigations, would, through hereditary transmission, bring forth defective offspring. And more, they wish to legislate to deprive these of that natural faculty by medical action despite their unwillingness; and this they do not propose as an infliction of grave punishment under the authority of the state for a crime committed, not to prevent future crimes by guilty persons, but against every right and good they wish the civil authority to arrogate to itself a power over a faculty which it never had and can never legitimately possess.

69. Those who act in this way are at fault in losing sight of the fact that the family is more sacred than the State and that men are begotten not for the earth and for time, but for Heaven and eternity. Although often these individuals are to be dissuaded from entering into matrimony, certainly it is wrong to brand men with the stigma of crime because they contract marriage, on the ground that, despite the fact that they are in every respect capable of matrimony, they will give birth only to defective children, even though they use all care and diligence.

70. Public magistrates have no direct power over the bodies of their subjects; therefore, where no crime has taken place and there is no cause present for grave punishment, they can never directly harm, or tamper with the integrity of the body, either for the reasons of eugenics or for any other reason. St. Thomas teaches this when inquiring whether human judges for the sake of preventing future evils can inflict punishment, he admits that the power indeed exists as regards certain other forms of evil, but justly and properly denies it as regards the maiming of the body. “No one who is guiltless may be punished by a human tribunal either by flogging to death, or mutilation, or by beating.”

Michal
February 18, 2012

DRM,

In your quote from the Holmes decision you have “70. Public magistrates have no direct power over the bodies of there subjects;…”…even citing St. Thomas “No one who is guiltless may be punished by a human tribunal either by glogging to death, or mutilation, or by beating.”

That just shows that the nature of power, as discussed by Foucault, had already changed. We had gone from a culture of “blood and honor” (as in the Middle Ages), where a hierarchical superior had the power of death over an individual, to a culture of “sex and hygiene”, where people who thought they were superior could permit life (think ‘reproductive choice’). In our republic, the civic definition of citizen has been at war with the latter vision for some time…one example is the battle over “gay marriage”. Think about it.

Michal
February 18, 2012

…that was “flogging to death”

Dale Matson
February 18, 2012

Haven’t many of us said things on this very website that should disqualify us from commenting further? Well, I plead guilty but will continue to comment. I do see my comments on the internet from time to time and wince.

John
February 18, 2012

Slavery must be the backbone of the American skeleton.

dwstroudmd+
February 18, 2012

Red herring alert! Red herring alert! All hands to the forecastle!

Fuinseoig
February 18, 2012

Sinner, of the gynaecological exam I had in our local regional hospital, the vaginal ultrasound was the least invasive and embarrassing part of it.

Now, if a woman does not want and does not agree to such a procedure, then I think she is entitled to refuse. I don’t know why the Virginia legislature required this particular ultrasound instead of an external one, and if we knew the reasons, that might clear things up. One particular reason might be this one: “It may also be used early in pregnancy to determine how far along you are in your pregnancy (gestational age).” If the woman cannot estimate how far along in her pregnancy she is, or if there is a legal requirement that you cannot perform an abortion after the (for example) 24th week, then this means that an abortion clinic cannot wink at the law by saying “She told us she was only 22 weeks along, we didn’t know she was 25 weeks pregnant”. I don’t think, in your example, that an ultrasound would be performed any earlier than 6 weeks’ gestation.

But it might be better in some instances for the health and safety of women undergoing abortions to have an ultrasound – in fact, a paper recommending the use of “real-time ultrasound during difficult therapeutic abortion procedures” is up here.

And the real objection here is not for the nature of the medical procedure – suppose an external ultrasound was mandated instead of a transvaginal one? I imagine the same objections would be raised because it is about being pro-choice, and any restrictions on abortion or interference with the procedure – even making sure the woman knows what she is doing, in full and informed consent – is seen as intolerable interference and putting stress and hardship on the woman.

Ed the Roman
February 18, 2012

John correctly points out that people whose ancestors lived at the time of one crime (hey, my peeps were northerners, and while they were in North America when the North had slavery *they were in Canada*) may not criticize any other crime that a leftist wishes to defend.

John
February 18, 2012

Ed the Roman wrote- “may not criticize any other crime that a leftist wishes to defend.”
Pointing to another part of the skeleton does not condone or deny the error of eugenics. Witches were once dunked in ponds and executed by Christians.
Hopefully, we study history and do not repeat its errors, whether from the left or right.

gppp
February 18, 2012

The sad fact is that sometimes we build on those mistakes.

Anyone who thinks the crime of slavery is totally past us would have to be blind to the damage done by affirmative action, even to the point that reparations could be a moral or ethical mandate.

Fuinseoig
February 18, 2012

Building on what gppp said, the fruits of the crime of slavery are still being harvested, I think, in all the statistics about higher rates of illegitimacy, lower marriage rates, lower educational qualifications, health and so forth for black versus white populations in the U.S.

Tearing people out of their culture and society, treating them as the legal equivalent of inanimate objects and animals, breaking up any families at will, treating them as breeding livestock for your benefits, selling mothers away from children and fathers away from their wives and families – how else but a bad effect and bad teaching could this have? How else but make it not just tolerated but expected that children would grow up fatherless, women have children by different men, that school and education were a waste of time?

John
February 18, 2012

Slavery, in America, was the subjugation of Africans. Affirmative action was an effort to remedy the lingering evils of slavery. How could one equate these?

dwstroudmd+
February 18, 2012

AaaarrrrUUUUUUuuuggghhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! AaaaarrrrUUUUUUuuggghhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Red herring alert! Red herring alert!

Sinner
February 18, 2012

I don’t know why the Virginia legislature required this particular ultrasound instead of an external one,

They didn’t. But if you go for an abortion & an external ultrasound doesn’t show anything, they the Virginia mandate requires an internal ultrasound.

Now, if a woman does not want and does not agree to such a procedure, then I think she is entitled to refuse.

Not in Virginia, North Carolina, Florida…

Or rather: she can refuse, and then she has also refused the abortion. Up until 9 weeks, this would be a medical rather than surgical abortion.

Dr. Mabuse
February 18, 2012

Michal: Thanks for the clarification. I’m afraid being glogged to death would be a rather sticky ending!

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/glogg-2/

gppp
February 18, 2012

Affirmative action was an attempt at a remedy, but it has become a quota system as much as anything else.

One of the effects has been that a large number of blacks who were hired years ago (to give them a chance, espcially in government, where I’ve working the past few years) use the color of their skin to avoid accountability for their laziness and incompetence. I know more than a few very competent and capable people (most white and Oriental) who were passed over for management positions in favor of blacks because an agency thought more blacks were needed to meet quotas.

This favoritism towards minorities (almost totally blacks, at least in Washington), with a few decades of turnover, has led to a massive dumbing down of agencies to the point now where the agency employees are barely capable now of the work their predecessors did just twenty years ago. The incompetence I have seen goes into the upper management of the agency I work in, and includes managers of programs responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars worth of spending.

The one glaring inequity in all this is that by discriminating in favor of a group of people (or a few groups) a much larger of people are being discriminated against. How discrimination possibly eliminate discrimination?

Fuinseoig
February 18, 2012

“But if you go for an abortion & an external ultrasound doesn’t show anything, they the Virginia mandate requires an internal ultrasound.”

That puts a different complexion on the matter, Sinner. If the doctor can’t locate the foetus by an external ultrasound, then an internal will be necessary – not least to make sure the woman actually is pregnant, and her menses have not stopped for another reason. Giving a non-pregnant woman doses of hormones when there is no necessity is better avoided for reasons both of finance and of potential infection.

Bob the Ape
February 18, 2012

It’s simple, John: both are racist, and both treat black people as low-order humans who can’t make it on their own.

The Lakeland Two
February 18, 2012

John – so how do you explain indentured servants? Many treated even worse than slaves? A good number being worked to death before their time was up?

Sinner
February 18, 2012

But it might be better in some instances for the health and safety of women undergoing abortions to have an ultrasound

sure – but not a 3 weeks! not the “morning after” either. If it is medically indicated, they woman should be able to trust her doctor, and make her own decisions. A state mandate prevents that – effectively imposing one particular religious view on to all women. Now: where have I heard that before?

any restrictions on abortion or interference with the procedure – even making sure the woman knows what she is doing, in full and informed consent – is seen as intolerable interference and putting stress and hardship on the woman.

As far a I’m concerned, medically necessary restrictions, including informed consent, are not a problem. That should be up to the doctors to sort out. But if I don’t have to view an x-ray or ultrasound or play with plastic models or have a “waiting period” or have three separate doctors confer over my routine tonsillectomy, it seems “utterly patronizing” to impose stronger requirements on an abortion. Women know what they are doing: they don’t need an ultrasound to tell them.

Paula Loughlin
February 18, 2012

“I believe that the example of Jesus, who (completely against the mores of his time) recognized women as human beings who could make moral choices like anyone else”

They can also make wrong moral choices just like anyone else.

I don’t think a transvaginal ultra sound is necessary at the stages of pregnancy discussed. Mainly because I think a woman can be fully informed by use of non invasive techniques such as using medical texts to show and truthfully explain fetal development. If after having all that information she decides to go on with her choice I think that is a tragedy but at least she truly is aware of what is involved. But again I don’t think a transvaginal ultrasound is needed to solicit informed consent.

Is all abortion genocide?, No. But when certain populations are targeted by abortion and population control advocates we would be foolish not to see how it can very well be so.

I would like to see more debate from the pro abortion side about when choice is truly autonomous choice? And whether telling women in developing nations that she is wasting too many resources by not embracing Western secular ideals about motherhood and childbirth and family structure is not a remnant of colonialism.

Sinner
February 18, 2012

I think a woman can be fully informed by use of non invasive techniques such as using medical texts to show and truthfully explain fetal development. If after having all that information she decides to go on with her choice I think that is a tragedy but at least she truly is aware of what is involved.

So we agree – and you count as “pro-choice”.

I would like to see more debate from the pro abortion side about when choice is truly autonomous choice?

Sure – but in the US, in a political environment where at least one serious political candidate is dedicated to outlawing abortion and greatly restricting contraception, I quite understand why this isn’t the highest priority.

John
February 18, 2012

The Lakeland two wrote- “so how do you explain indentured servants? Many treated even worse than slaves? A good number being worked to death before their time was up?”
What is there to explain? There are other skeletons I never wrote about. To not write about errors does not condone or deny them.

Ed the Roman
February 18, 2012

John, your interjections in this thread do not even rise to the level of being red herrings. More like when I would say “Look! An elephant!” to pretend to distract my wife while I ate one of her onion rings.

Fuinseoig
February 20, 2012

Sinner, your tonsils are not a human being in minature. And, from seeing my nephews with throat infections and comparing how my sister was treated at that age, ‘routine’ tonsillectomies are no longer routine – now it seems to be medical consensus that you leave the tonsils alone unless very, very necessary – which would mean x-rays and doctors conferring about should they operate.

Mark Windsor
February 20, 2012

Sinner, of the gynaecological exam I had in our local regional hospital, the vaginal ultrasound was the least invasive and embarrassing part of it.

TMI…

Katherine
February 20, 2012

Mark Windsor, when my husband looks unhappy about his annual physical I just roll my eyes in his direction. Women are routinely subjected to uncomfortable and undignified procedures, with the happy result that we don’t die of cancer as often as we used to. You no doubt have never seen the instrument of torture called a mammogram machine. And then there’s the delivery room! All of this makes the hysteria at Slate about this ultrasound look completely ridiculous.

John
February 20, 2012

Katherine. The difference is, one is voluntary the other imposed. It does not matter if it is uncomfortable or not. Medically it is unnecessary.

Katherine
February 20, 2012

John, it may very well be medically necessary to determine the age of the fetus, or even its existence, in order to provide the correct abortion procedure which the woman is seeking. That’s voluntary. I also find this “medically unnecessary” line distressing as used in the leftist blogs by people who insisted that the always medically unnecessary partial-birth abortion was “medical care.”

John
February 20, 2012

Katherine. We both agree abortion should not happen but I am reluctant to deny a woman access to an abortion. I am not qualified to give advise or consent on the matter.

Bob the Ape
February 20, 2012

John, what qualifications are required to tell a woman not to kill her baby?

FW Ken
February 20, 2012

About what other form of murder would you make that argument, John? Or if it’s not murder, why should it not happen?

Katherine
February 20, 2012

I would have no hesitation in counseling any woman not to kill her child.

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