The modern eugenics movement is attributed to Sir Francis Galton (1822-1911), a half-cousin of Charles Darwin. Perhaps better known as the Father of Psychological Testing, Galton argued that the human gene pool could be improved, natural selection explicitly facilitated, and the evolution of the human race accelerated, by reducing the number of children born to “below average” humans and increasing the number of children born to “above average” humans.

As a result of his thinking, more than 30 of our states adopted legislation aimed at compulsory sterilization of certain individuals. Margaret Sanger founded Planned Parenthood with the explicit goal of encouraging contraceptive use for poor and immigrant women, hence helping to realize Galton’s goal of improving the human gene pool.

The other means of altering the gene pool, beyond the number of births from parents with differing genes, would be to take active steps to cleanse the human race of existing “inferior” peoples. This, of course, defined the Nazi regime of Hitler, in which he targeted individuals he deemed to be inferior, sometimes on the basis of mental ability, and other times on the basis of his racial and ethnic stereotypes. Indeed, Hitler’s operationalization of eugenics convinced society that such steps were inhumane, unethical, and totally unacceptable. Eugenics had seen its height and would quickly decline. Or so we like to think.

Since the Roe v. Wade decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 22, 1973, more than 60 million babies have been aborted in America. This dwarfs the number of Jews exterminated by Hitler. This dwarfs the number of Soviets murdered by Stalin. Realizing her dream of altering the gene pool of the human race, Margaret Sanger seems to have facilitated her goal, given that these abortions are not evenly distributed across the American population.

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