Friday, May 31, 2019

For over 100 years reactionary men in America have assaulted left wing eugenics; birth control by any other name. 

First using the postal act then other acts around obscenity, and moral turpitude, to halt information about and products used as birth control, linking it in the popular mind with other tawdry things the post office busted such as drugs and solicitation for prostitution 

And again another fight led by the ACLU formed to fight for free speech, labour rights, womens rights and birth control rights as it is today against anti abortion laws in Alabama and other Red Republican states where like that state 25 white men decided for several millions of women, who make up 52% of the state

As we see here from silent Tom he is speaking out on his wife's favorite topic, eugenics and Margret Sanger, who along with Emma Goldman and Havelock Ellis fought for the right to birth control and birth control information.

The right have used abortion as a trigger word like they used and still use eugenics falling to differentiate between liberal eugenics of birth control and women's reproductive freedom and RIGHT WING eugenics used by the state.

Such as Alberta did under right wing Social Credit govt when it forcibly sterilized people like their right wing counterparts in Nazi Germany did in Alberta’s case the social credit party was led by two Christian radio evangelists of their day Bill Aberhart and Ernest Manning  whose son Preston now leads a section of the Canadian right wing from the family homestead in Calgary the largest American city north of the 49th parallel.

Clarence Thomas Pens Screed Comparing Women Who Obtain Abortions to Eugenicists

Justice Clarence Thomas wasn’t willing to let Indiana’s nondiscrimination rule die a quiet death.

But Justice Clarence Thomas wasn’t willing to let Indiana’s nondiscrimination rule die a quiet death. Instead, he wrote an astonishing 20-page concurring opinion declaring that the rule is clearly constitutional—and, in the process, condemning many women who obtain abortions as willing participants in eugenicide. (Because Thomas says he wanted to “allow further percolation” of this issue in the lower courts before settling it, he joined his colleagues in refusing to review the case.)

Thomas began by insisting that the “foundations for legalizing abortion in America were laid during the early 20th-century birth-control movement,” which “developed alongside the American eugenics movement.” That’s not actually true: Abortion was legal at the founding, and states only began criminalizing abortion around the 1860s. Thomas is pushing a pro-life narrative that seeks to intertwine abortion and eugenics while ignoring history. To that end, he added that “Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger recognized the eugenic potential of her cause. She emphasized and embraced the notion that birth control ‘opens the way to the eugenist.’ ”
Justice Clarence Thomas wasn’t willing to let Indiana’s nondiscrimination rule die a quiet death.

The justice then embarked on a lengthy excursion into the sordid history of the eugenics movement, which was, indeed, a dark period in American history. But he repeatedly elides the fact that most eugenicists promoted contraception, not abortion, as a vital tool of “population control.” To conflate the two, Thomas simply proclaimed that “the eugenic arguments that [Sanger] made in support of birth control apply with even greater force to abortion.” In effect, the justice condemned all reproductive rights—not just abortion, but all forms of contraception—as byproducts of the eugenics movement and scorned them as morally reprehensible. (Bizarrely, he also tossed in an off-the-wall footnote comparing disparate impact liability, which limits ostensibly neutral practices that disproportionately burden minorities, with eugenics.)

These wild tangents are a prelude to the meat of Thomas’ opinion: his belief that women who terminate their pregnancies due to a fetus’ “unwanted characteristics” are callous and monstrous child-killers who should be forced by the state to carry these fetuses to term. Abortion, he wrote, “is an act rife with the potential for eugenic manipulation.” Thanks to “today’s prenatal screening tests and other technologies, abortion can easily be used to eliminate children” due to some trait or abnormality. Indeed, Thomas wrote, abortion is a “disturbingly effective tool for implementing the discriminatory preferences that undergird eugenics.” He cited the high abortion rate for fetuses with Down syndrome and the “widespread sex-selective abortions” in Asia as evidence. And he noted that the nationwide abortion rate “among black women is nearly 3.5 times the ratio for white women.”

Notably, Thomas does not claim that women are being tricked into obtaining discriminatory abortions by sex partners or preyed upon by unethical doctors. Instead, his opinion is a rhetorical assault against women who terminate their pregnancies due to a fetal abnormality. (There is virtually no evidence that American women get abortions on the basis of a fetus’ race or sex; that part of the law seems designed to troll liberals.) He accuses these women of seeking “eugenic abortions,” of wishing to “eliminate” an “unborn child” for “discriminatory” reasons. There is none of the usual patronizing pro-life hand-waving here about how women are really the victims of abortion. To Thomas, women who undergo abortions are villains who must be stopped by the state.

The justice closed his opinion by urging the court, in a future case, to rule that states may criminalize abortions on the basis of a fetal characteristics. Anything less, he wrote, “would constitutionalize the views of the 20th-century eugenics movement.”

It may not be a coincidence that Thomas dropped the façade of disgust solely with abortion providers, and not women themselves, just as a state prepares to prosecute women who undergo abortions. A new Georgia law permits the imprisonment of women who terminate their pregnancies, elevating fetuses to full personhood. Any pretense of protecting women has vanished; the law now expressly elevates the interests of the fetus over the interest of the woman. Now that Roe is in mortal danger, abortion foes in state legislatures and federal courts alike can unleash their ire at women themselves. They no longer need to appease Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Clarence Thomas makes it clear: The right is coming for birth control next

By attacking Margaret Sanger's legacy, Justice Thomas isn't going after abortion — this is about contraception Clarence Thomas makes it clear: The right is coming for birth control next


There is no doubt, as Thomas makes abundantly clear in this opinion, that Sanger was an advocate of the noxious early-20th-century pseudoscience of eugenics, which suggested that the human race could be "bettered" by manipulating breeding to improve human "stock." But it's historically inaccurate to imply, as Thomas and the anti-choice activists he's cribbing from do, that Sanger started the birth control movement because of her belief in eugenics. The historical record is clear on this: Sanger began advocating for birth control to empower women and then latched onto the eugenics movement as a way to increase interest in the issue.
Sanger advocate for some highly distasteful eugenics ideas at times. But it's flat-out false to imply, as Thomas does, that she supported forced sterilization or that she was trying to get rid of black people. In her writings, she insisted that birth control must be "autonomous, self-directive, and not imposed from without" and that no one should "be endowed with the authority to order anyone to be sterilized."
More importantly, Thomas is being disingenuous in his suggestion that Sanger was targeting black people for eugenics purposes when she teamed up with activists like W.E.B. Du Bois to open clinics geared towards helping black women obtain contraception. As Imani Gandy wrote at Rewire in 2015, this project was literally the opposite of a racist attack on black people. It was an explicit effort to make services available to black people that only whites previously had access to. Sanger believed that birth control helped people exert more control over their lives and help themselves economically, and this project was explicitly meant to help people in the black community empower themselves.
"Due to segregation policies in the South, the birth control clinics that opened in the 1930s were for white women only. Sanger wanted to change that," Gandy explained.
As Gandy notes, Sanger explicitly rejected the idea of racial eugenics, saying she had encountered a man who tried to give her money if she would "cut down" on the number of black people.
"That is, of course, not our idea. I turned him down," Sanger said. "But that is an example of how vicious some people can be about this thing." She added that her purpose was to reduce "sufferings for all groups."
Despite his protestations to the contrary, Thomas's opinion is clearly meant to bolster the growing efforts of the religious right to expand the war on reproductive rights past attacks on abortion, onward to reducing access to contraception.
Demonizing Margaret Sanger is clearly meant to stigmatize her legacy. But her legacy is not abortion — which, again, she opposed — but birth control. It was Sanger who coined the term "birth control." It was Sanger who went to jail repeatedly for teaching women how to prevent pregnancy. And it was Sanger who envisioned the concept of the birth control pill, eventually securing the funding that allowed it to be developed. So when anti-choicers seek to turn her into a villain, their goal is to taint contraception by association and create a moral case for restricting access.
There's no small amount of hypocrisy in play here. Clarence Thomas sits on a court that was literally created by slave-holders, including George Washington, who signed the act that created the Supreme Court. And Thomas adheres to an "originalist" judicial philosophy which claims that the beliefs of the nation's founders — who were, whatever their better qualities, a bunch of racists who literally wrote legal slavery into the founding documents — should matter more in jurisprudence than current, more progressive social mores. Thomas presumably doesn't believe that the U.S. Constitution or the Supreme Court is permanently tainted by these racist associations. But when it comes to restricting women's rights, he is happy to advance a much shakier case of guilt by association.
The good news is that there's not much that's legally binding in this rant from Thomas. His opinion was tied to a court decision that actually throws out Indiana's law banning abortions done on the basis of race, sex or disability. (To be clear, there is no evidence that the first two kinds of abortions even happen. Those seem to be figments of anti-choice activists' collective racist imagination.) For now, the claim that reproductive rights must be restricted on the basis of some imaginary eugenics threat against people of color has no legal importance.
The bad news, however, is that by elevating right-wing conspiracy theories about Margaret Sanger, Thomas has given the blessing of a Supreme Court justice to the escalating war on birth control. The pretense that the right's campaign against reproductive rights is about "life" is fast fading away. Instead, Thomas bluntly suggests that women can't be trusted to make their own decisions about when to give birth because they will use that power for unsavory or even racist purposes. That kind of argument isn't just about abortion. It's about the idea that society must control or restrict any method women employ to control childbirth.

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