Saturday, October 13, 2018

Oliver Wendell Holmes was no Protector of Free Speech (Part I)

In past publications, I have uncovered the evils of Oliver Wendell Holmes. Holmes was a bigot and racist as his decisions in Mueller v. Oregon (gender discrimination), Baily v. Alabama (racial discrimination), and Buck v. Bell (mentally challenged discrimination) illustrate. Holmes’s Lochner dissent was revered in history. Yet, in Bailey Holmes contradicts his views about contracts in Lochner to uphold a flagrantly racial discriminatory law. Holmes was on the wrong side of history in all these cases, even in Lochner. Liberal courts have used the substantive due process techniques introduced in Lochner to uphold abortion and gay rights. In fact, Holmes saw the Fourteenth Amendment as “perverted” and therefore, discrimination was never considered by Holmes in terms of equal protection under the law. Consider the case Interstate Consolidated Railroad Company v. Massachusetts where Holmes held that a law forcing the railroad company to charge students half price was constitutional. Holmes said the law could be upheld by calling it an education tax. However, this law was discriminatory because it was a tax against only railroad companies. A tax should be consistent and target all businesses equally. This decision also conflicted with Holmes’s decision in Pennsylvania Coal Company v. Mahon. In this case Holmes held that a Pennsylvania law was unconstitutional because it was a taking of private property without just compensation. A tax is also an unjust taking of private property when it targets just one business sector. Holmes had a “political attitude” towards the law because he believed that the law should follow the philosophies and ideas of popular sovereignty. Holmes felt that lawyers also needed to be experts at economics. This makes little sense, but it may help explain many of his decisions in Mueller, Lochner, Mahon, and Interstate Consolidate Railroad Company. Holmes felt his opinions favored what was economically best for America, not what was legally best. And since a majority of Americans had subpar views of women in the workplace, minorities, and the mentally challenged, Holmes felt it was the will of the people to discriminate against them. It was okay to discriminate so long as the power of the majority felt it was okay. Holmes’s view on speech was not much different. Holmes would defer to popular legislation to restrict speech more times than not.

One of the great attributes accredited to Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes was that of being a protector and champion of free speech. This is far from the truth. In most free speech cases Holmes followed his theory of legal liability which includes distinguishing between harmful acts, attempts, and abuses of privilege. Harmful acts were particularly easy to identify. If a speaker’s act was harmful then the speaker was liable for their actions regardless of any intent or foresight. This followed the doctrine of “bad tendencies” utilized by the Court to determine what speech is protected and which speech is outside constitutional protection. For instance, Holmes would classify someone yelling fire in a crowded movie theatre as an example of harmful speech because it could incite a melee (I doubt this famous Holmes example would win any support in the modern Court). Many harmful speaking acts are privileged such as criticizing public officials and rights to association. However, that privilege may be rescinded if an unlawful conspiracy is charged against a group of association. In cases of conspiracy defendants are guilty if unlawful intent is proven regardless of any proximity of harm (a clear and present danger). In individual cases where no conspiracy exists, both unlawful intent and proximity of harm must be proven. An attempt is when liability may be imposed on non-harmful acts but only if the speaker intended harm and there was a proximity of harm. An attempt is the hardest to act of liability to prove. For example, in one case Holmes wrote “If a defendant had gone no further than to buy a box of matches for the purpose [to start a fire], he would not have been liable”, but if the defendant went to the place he intended to start a fire and changed his mind he would then be guilty of attempted arson. By holding free speech to same standard as his theory of legal liability, Holmes decreased free speech rights and by no means expanded or protected free speech rights.

McAuliffe v. New Bedford was a case decided by Holmes while he sat on the Massachusetts Supreme Court. The case involved a statute where a policeman whose political free speech was restricted while he held a public service job. Holmes declared “The petitioner may have a constitutional right to talk politics, but he has no constitutional right to be a policeman.” This statement cannot be more wrong because all people have a right to pursue any lawful profession. Similarly, in Laurel Hill Cemetery v. San Francisco Holmes said a law that denied cemeteries within the city limits was Constitutional. Once again, Holmes sided against the right of the individual to pursue a lawful occupation at the expense of discriminatory state or local legislation. In Holmes’s view the burden of proof was on individuals to prove state laws were not needed instead of on state legislators to prove why the laws were essential especially those that violated the rights of an individual. And the only reason a state or municipality needs to pass a law, in Holmes view, was because it was what a majority wanted. In Holmes view, there was no need to show a compelling state interest for laws that violate the rights of individuals. Holmes ignores the Constitution and its view to protect the natural rights among citizens equally without bias to majorities (this is how practices like slavery start). In Holmes view judges should uphold dumb, stupid, harmful, or discriminatory laws if that is what the majority wants. This type of thought is just dangerous. One person’s rights are not more important than another person’s rights merely because one belongs to a majority. But this is precisely what Holmes decides in Laurel Hill and McAuliffe. Remember, Holmes said, “The whole collectivist tendency seems to be toward underrating or forgetting the safeguards in the bill of rights….” In Commonwealth v. Davis (also decided while on Massachusetts Supreme Court), Holmes’s opinion declared that a State has the right to forbid any public speaking in the streets and in parks. Of course, these early rulings by Holmes were perverse and have absolutely no bearing in modern society. If Holmes had his way, the government would employ the speech police to keep Americans in line.

In Hanson v. Globe Newspaper Company Holmes found the newspaper libel when it erred in writing critically about H.P.H Hanson as H.P. Hanson. The real H.P. Hanson filed suit. Even though there was no intent to harm H.P. Hanson, false statements of fact about Hanson made the newspaper libel in Holmes’s view. Modern courts would never come to the same conclusion. In this instance, the courts would protect the newspaper from a suit since it was an accident and could be corrected by a simple statement clearing the plaintiffs name. It is true, that false statements of fact have no First Amendment protection under modern jurisprudence. However, in this case, the statements may have been false, but they had a lawful intent (not unlawful intent). The paper simply made a mistake. If every mistake made a newspaper liable to a suit then there would be no Freedom of the Press. In Patterson v. Colorado Holmes found an ex-Senator’s editorial about the Colorado Supreme Court was in contempt. This case was about whether the government could enforce prior restraint on free-speech. Even though Patterson’s speech was truthful, his editorial mentioned both current and possibly future cases before the Colorado Supreme Court. Hence, Holmes found Patterson was guilty obstructing justice and found him in contempt. However, the truthful claims by Patterson revealed potential corruption and this should never be a violation of free speech. Why would any whistleblower ever come forward if they could be found in contempt while their truthful statements are ignored? This is another bad decision because it fails to protect one of the most important forms of speech: truthful speech which identifies a crime or the violation of a person’s rights. However, in Near v. Minnesota, the Court found prior restraint of free speech unconstitutional even if the speech was untruthful or had malicious intent. Future letters indicate that even Holmes admitted he erred in Patterson. In fact, Holmes’s change of heart in his opinion for Toledo Newspaper Company v. United States was proof that Holmes knew he was wrong in Patterson. By Brandenburg v. Ohio in 1969 (only literal incitement fell outside of First Amendment protection) all of Holmes’s free speech doctrines would be abandoned. Even during the Red Scare of McCarthyism during the 1950s free speech was not restricted to the degree of Holmes’s free speech doctrines.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Modern Example of Abortion and Eugenics

CBS ran a story about how Iceland “eliminated” downs syndrome from its population and many other countries are not too far behind. The word “eliminated” is not the correct term, the correct term is “killing” down syndrome through abortion. This is further proof that abortion which was founded on the principles and philosophies of eugenics is still following these same practices in modern times. The article’s title: “What Kind of Society Do You want to Live In: Inside the Country where Down Syndrome is Disappearing”. The cleansing of society of defectives was what eugenics was founded on and it obviously still exists today. What’s even more troubling is that test used to determine downs syndrome on a fetus is at best 85% accurate. That means 3 out of 20 times the test is wrong with a false positive or a false negative meaning the abortion of a fully healthy baby is highly probable.

CBS said “With the rise of prenatal screening tests across Europe and the United States, the number of babies born with Down syndrome has significantly decreased, but few countries have come as close to eradicating Down syndrome births as Iceland.”

Moreover “Since prenatal screening tests were introduced in Iceland in the early 2000s, the vast majority of women -- close to 100 percent -- who received a positive test for Down syndrome terminated their pregnancy.”

Although the article states that most persons born with down syndrome live a “normal” life it portrayed some alarming statistics “Other countries aren't lagging too far behind in Down syndrome termination rates. According to the most recent data available, the United States has an estimated termination rate for Down syndrome of 67 percent (1995-2011); in France it's 77 percent (2015); and Denmark, 98 percent (2015). The law in Iceland permits abortion after 16 weeks if the fetus has a deformity -- and Down syndrome is included in this category.”

I have met several down syndrome children and adults. My only observation about them is that they are the happiest people I have ever met without a bad bone in their bodies. They do not have any feelings of hate or vengeance and they are not argumentative. For some reason, down syndrome persons are immune to being corrupted by the evil or the polarizing politics in society. We need more people with the compassion, sincerity, and caring of down syndrome persons, not less.

Where do we draw the line? Is it okay to abort females, like in China? Is it okay to abort any fetus with a defect such as a missing finger? What is to stop the government from compelling abortions of “defective” fetuses? After all, wouldn’t this control healthcare costs especially for a single payer system? How is aborting down syndrome fetuses any different than trying to compel Hispanics, African-Americans, or the poor to get abortions? Maybe I am crazy but I view all humans as being equal. It is dangerous when we start creating a hierarchy of acceptable persons. This is no different than what Nazism was founded upon: creating a “perfect” race. All persons are highly flawed for whatever reason, no one is even close to being perfect. Life is about working to become better persons since we are all defective in many ways. Life is not about eliminating or killing off those who do not meet our accepted definition of a person. This is dangerous and scary precedent since history has a way of repeating the same errors it has made in the past.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

When Dreams Come True

I always dreamed of becoming a State Champion at something, it could have been anything: athletics or academia. Since my athletic prowess was limited, the closest I ever came was in my eighth-grade math club and that was not very close. Like most kids I dreamed of being a pro athlete and even making the Olympic team and winning a gold medal. All kids dream, but those dreams very seldom become a reality.

In 1979, I was a freshman in high school and a kid by the name of Keith Alston from neighboring Neptune High School won the state wrestling championship (Winning a wrestling state title in New Jersey was very hard since there was only 1 champion for all schools regardless of size). I read the article and dreamed about how cool that was and how lucky he was. I turned the page and there was a short article about how Alston died in a car accident coming home from the event. For years, I debated if Alston would have changed his destiny by giving up that state championship in exchange for the rest of life – about another 60 to 70 years. I don’t think Alston would have changed his destiny because he reached the pinnacle of his sport, a sport he loved and he trained so hard to excel. It changed my feelings about winning a state championship, I do not think there was anything out there more important than life until I found cycling because this sport comes with some risks.

After winning a state masters cycling championship (Colorado and Wyoming) in the time trial it made me truly understand the sacrifice, love, and pain associated with athletics. People do not understand the love people may have for a sport and how much suffering it takes to win a state title. I am certain Alston made the choice for his destiny. Why? Because I take some of the same risks every day. When I train outside I know there is a chance I may not see another day. Cars do not see you and even if they do they do not slow down or give you room. I go fast most days, and although I am going at or below the speed limit, when people see a cyclist they are not expecting them to be going 25, 30, or even 40 MPH so they pull out in front of me. I avoid at least one close call every week, yet I continue to ride and train. It would seem the risk is not worth it. Each year dozens of cyclists are killed or maimed from car accidents in Colorado alone. I try to mitigate risks by cycling on less busy roads, cycling at off peak hours, and wearing bright clothing but nothing will completely eliminate the risks. Why is it so important to risk life and limb? I do not exactly know. I believe being diagnosed with a neurological disorder changed how I view life. I literally thought I had ALS and would be dead in a few years. After ALS and MS were ruled out, I realized I was lucky to be diagnosed with cramp fasciculation syndrome. What I have is no picnic, but I have been given a second chance at life. Although exercise intolerance is one of my symptoms, I fight through it for one last chance to achieve some of my childhood dreams. The pain of training on top of a neurological disorder is extremely intense. I keep telling myself I will quit once I reach my full potential, but each day and week I keep getting better. I do not understand it and more importantly my doctors do not understand it. Yes, you can improve and get better at certain sports even in your 50s, 60s, and 70s. Each year I accomplish all my goals. It is amazing, I have never had so much success at anything.

I may not have ever been an Olympian or raced in the Tour de France but I race against a person who has accomplished these feats – Norman Alvis. Alvis was one of America’s best cyclists outside of Greg LeMond in the 80s (and 90s). Alvis was a U.S. cycling champion and held the one-hour time trial record (on a track) for nearly 20 years (it was just broken last year). Alvis currently holds the U.S. record for the one-hour time trial for the 50+ group. He rode the Tour de France and Italia multiple times. His team finished 10th for the team trial in the 88 Olympics. Alvis beat me by a mere 7 seconds in an 8-mile time trial earlier this summer (16:48 to 16:55). I may not have accomplished my dreams of the Olympics, but I am holding my own racing against a former Olympian. The success of Greg LeMond generated dreams of riding in the Tour, and although that did not happen, I am holding my own against a guy who did. This is just as good as accomplishing that dream.

Please do not give up on your dreams and goals. No matter how hard and difficult persistence and hard work generally pay off. I am not saying dreams are worth dying over, but accomplishing them before you die is well worth some risk. Unfortunately, it took a situation where I thought I was going to die before I truly pursued some of my dreams. We should not require a wake-up call before we show some urgency to live life to its fullest.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The Most Influential Constitutional Convention Delegate: John Rutledge

John Rutledge represented South Carolina as a delegate at the Constitutional Convention in 1787. He may not have had the influence of a Madison over the overall document, but Rutledge was important because he represented the slave South and was able to secure compromises that would protect the institution of slavery.

Rutledge was put in charge of the Committee on Detail and he led four other delegates while the rest of the delegate broke for an eleven-day recess. The goal of the Committee was to “properly dress” the “principles and outlines of a system” of government that was already agreed to by the delegates. In other words, it was the Committee’s responsibility to write the first draft of the Constitution. However, Rutledge would use the committee to implement new resolutions and ideas that were never discussed and agreed upon by the convention: especially on slavery. The committee was to take all agreed to resolutions and formulate a plan of government. But Rutledge saw an opportunity and seized on it.

Also on the committee were Nathaniel Gorman of Massachusetts, Oliver Ellsworth of Connecticut, James Wilson of Pennsylvania, and Edmund Randolph of Virginia. Four of these men were distinguished lawyers, Randolph would be Attorney General and Wilson, Ellsworth and Rutledge would serve on the Supreme Court. Wilson and Rutledge already crafted the three-fifths compromise earlier in the convention. The three-fifths compromise allowed slaves to be counted as three-fifths of a person for allocating representatives for the House of Representatives and also for calculating direct state taxes.

Randolph was indecisive so it is easy to see how the slave owner could be influenced by Rutledge. Wilson was willing to compromise over slavery as his three-fifths proposal with Rutledge demonstrated earlier in the convention. Ellsworth was an anti-slavery delegate, but he helped align a small-states and slave-states compact at the convention so small states could gain equal representation in the Senate by supporting passage of the three-fifths compromise. Ellsworth would argue slavery is an issue to be decided by the States and it should be of no concern to the National government. Ellsworth wrongly believed that morality would eventually rule the day and the institution of slavery would eventually die. Ellsworth conceded if the issue over slavery was a moral one then all slaves should be free, but that was not what was being contested at the convention.

The Committee defined eighteen enumerated Powers for Congress. Wilson, responsible for the final committee draft and a proponent for a strong national government did not favor limiting Congress to enumerated powers so he drafted the “necessary and proper” clause. Wilson also included eight limits on State governments. Wilson also rewrote the Supremacy clause to make sure Congress and the Courts had some power over the States. Wilson was instrumental to define federalism in how State governments and the National government would be reconciled in the Constitution: both were sovereign, but the national government can trump state governments.

The committee also introduced the resolution that slave trade could continue perpetually without any import tax on slaves. Eventually the convention agreed to a twenty-year limit with a maximum ten-dollar tax per slave. This was important because it allowed another 170,000 slaves to be imported from Africa to grow the institution before President Jefferson ended the practice after the twenty-year moratorium ended. The Rutledge committee also introduced the navigation acts (interstate and foreign trade) which declared all legislation on the subject must be approved by a two-thirds majority in Congress. This was done to protect the South from high freight costs. In a compromise to end the two-thirds majority the South garnered its final slave provision: the fugitive slave clause. Rutledge had succeeded in obtaining three key slave protections: the three-fifth clause, the slave import clause, and the fugitive slave clause without even mentioning the word “slavery” in the text. The North felt they did well by compromising on these issues, but the fact remains that Rutledge “hijacked” the Constitution. The North compromised over issues that were never agreed to by the full convention.

The three-fifths clause was the key provision. With the extra 10 to 30 seats the South would garner over the next 50 years, it changed history: Ten of the first fifteen presidents were slaver owners (for instance, John Adams would have defeated Jefferson in 1800 if not for the extra Southern electors); nineteen of the first thirty-four Supreme Court Justices were slave owners; and Southerners held the Speaker of the House position 35 of the first 50 years. This clause wielded the South with power to sustain the practice of slavery. Since the South controlled Congress, they always failed to pass a direct State tax that was to offset their Representative gains.

John Rutledge’s coup d’├ętat at the National Convention was slick because he accomplished his goals single handedly. He sided with small states and then hijacked the first draft of the Constitution. The rogue Rutledge introduced new provisions into the Constitution that were never discussed or approved by the states or delegates. He then compromised on these issues to garner even more power for the slave wielding South.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Slavery versus Abortion

In my view both slavery and abortion are evil. Of course, many would contend that that only slavery is evil. I am of the impression that abortion may be worse than slavery for the following reasons:

Though brutal and inhumane, slavery was not genocidal but abortion is genocidal. After all, slaves were of no value dead. Since Roe v. Wade (1973) over 60 million babies have been aborted. That is the equivalence of nearly 20% of the US population today. That is right, one in five Americans do not exist because they were aborted. In the history of America, the number of abortions can be estimated at more than 100 million. And this does not include abortions using birth control contraceptives that act as abortifacients. Anywhere from 1.5% to 3% of fertile women obtain an abortion each year. Over the history of slavery in America there have been over 20 million slaves. At the end of the civil war, there were nearly a half million slaves in Virginia alone. At the first U.S. census in 1790 the number of slaves in the United States was approaching 700,000.

Abortion is final, bondage in slavery was not necessarily the final outcome. About 6 to 7% of slaves earned their freedom through emancipation by the owner, escaping, payment, or even favorable court rulings for being brought to free states for a considerable time period. And there is little corroboration of facts or statistics to suggest that ancestors of slaves living in the U.S. would have been any better off, as a whole, if slavery did not exist and they lived in their Native Africa. Even poor African-Americans are afforded welfare and other entitlement benefits that would hardly be available in most African nations. Although discrimination still exists, modern America views African-Americans as a protected class of citizens subject to preferential treatment for education and jobs.

Throughout the history of slavery many slaveowners saw it as a necessary evil, but did not agree with the practice. Justice Taney who handed down the controversial Dred Scott decision freed his slaves decades earlier. Most of the Virginia founders struggled with the issue of slavery. Madison, Washington, Jefferson, Mason, Randolph, Monroe, and Wythe all owned slaves but talked about institution as being “cruel” and how it “tramples on the rights of human nature”. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution drafted and signed by many of these same men never mentions slavery and were important documents that eventually led to the end of the practice of slavery. Southern courts routinely ruled in favor of slaves gaining their freedom when they were moved to free states or territories for a long period of time. Southern judges owned slaves, but they too realized the institution was a necessary evil. Abortion on the other hand has always been seen as being both moral and just because it is mistakenly considered a Fundamental Right under the Constitution. Remember, slavery was also mistakenly seen as a Fundamental Right (property) under the Constitution in the Dred Scott decision (1857). Abortion rights advocates do not see the activity of abortion as being the least bit controversial. They do not see anything wrong with abortion being used as a tool for population control or for eugenics ideas and philosophies the movement was founded upon. The bottom line is it was not uncommon for slave owners to be morally and ethically conflicted whereas abortion advocates seem to have no moral conscience or ethical compass.

Slavery discriminated against African-Americans, but abortion also discriminate against African-Americans. African-Americans make up 13% of the population but make up 42% of the abortions. Abortions mostly discriminate against the poor who make up over 75% of all abortions.

Maybe abortion seems to be a better option than a lifetime in bondage. But the lives of slaves did not go for naught. The sacrifices made by slaves was just as important to US and World history as was the sacrifice of American soldiers fighting in not only the Civil War to free slaves, but any war to overcome the evils of Nazism, communism, or terrorism. Unfortunately, abortion was founded under the same ideals and principles of Nazism, socialism, and anarchism. It is sad that we never learn our lessons from history and hopefully some day we will come to the realization that the sacrifice of over a hundred million babies is enough genocide and we will finally put an end to the practice of abortion except under extreme circumstances (which compromise of less than 2% of all abortions).

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Population Control (Part III)

Ziegler contends that the abortion movement was not race driven and the modern movement abandoned its radical view of population control. Let’s say Ziegler is right, the abortion movement deemphasized radical philosophies such as population control and racial overtones following the Roe decision. This does not mean these are no longer supported views, it simply means these radical views were no longer needed for tactical support of the movement since it already won in the Supreme Court. Besides, a movement founded on eugenics, racism, and population control does not make it okay if those views are deemphasized in the modern movement. What if slavery still existed but modern laws protected slaves so owners could not beat them; slaves had to be paid a fair wage; and slaves had more rights such as the right to vote. Would this make a “modern” slavery movement any more acceptable? Of course not. Abortion, like slavery, is stigmatized in our history and for good reason. However, no one can dispute the fact that abortions affect African-Americans and the poor disproportionately. African-Americans make up 42% of all abortions, but consist of only 13% of the population. This was the vision and mission of Margaret Sanger and the pre-Roe movement which has come to fruition. I do not see any pro-abortion rights persons concerned about this statistic nor do I see them concerned about how abortion may violate the Equal Protection clause because it disproportionately affects minorities. Sure, the Court found abortion legal through substantive due process as a right (not in support of racism or population control). But the Court also found slavery legal in Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857) via substantive due process. In other words, anything can be found legal via substantive due process depending on the opinions of the Justices sitting on the bench at the time. The bottom line is that abortion and slavery were both founded on hate, discrimination, and other radical views and they are therefore not much different. Abortion rights advocates were still pushing ideas and philosophies used by Nazi Germany 30 years after World War II. Consider that for a moment: the feminist abortion movement was precisely based on “war crimes” that nearly exterminated a race of people. And if the Supreme Court did not side with the abortion movement in Roe, these ideas and philosophies would have continued to be used for many more years. The abortion movement was and is radical. It was founded and supported by socialists and anarchists. Radical opinions, ideas, and philosophies may have been deemphasized but they still exist and that does not change the fact abortion was founded and practiced under radical terms. Consider the below interview with Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

In a 2012 interview Ruth Bader Ginsberg gave the following responses to questions about feminism, abortion, population control, and eugenics:

Q: If you were a lawyer again, what would you want to accomplish as a future feminist legal agenda?

JUSTICE GINSBURG: Reproductive choice has to be straightened out. There will never be a woman of means without choice anymore. That just seems to me so obvious. The states that had changed their abortion laws before Roe [to make abortion legal] are not going to change back. So we have a policy that affects only poor women, and it can never be otherwise, and I don't know why this hasn't been said more often.

Q: Are you talking about the distances women have to travel because in parts of the country, abortion is essentially unavailable, because there are so few doctors and clinics that do the procedure? And also, the lack of Medicaid for abortions for poor women?

JUSTICE GINSBURG: Yes, the ruling about that surprised me. [Harris v. McRae -- in 1980 the court upheld the Hyde Amendment, which forbids the use of Medicaid for abortions.] Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don't want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion. Which some people felt would risk coercing women into having abortions when they didn't really want them. But when the court decided McRae, the case came out the other way. And then I realized that my perception of it had been altogether wrong.

What does this mean? It means that population control and racism were at the forefront of the abortion movement. If the abortion movement was not about eliminating the poor and minorities than why was there a big push to have Medicaid pay for abortions? Why would Ginsburg (ACLU attorney representing women’s rights at the time of Roe) admit as much? And the fact that minorities and the poor obtain abortions at a much higher rate than other classes of people demonstrates that abortion was and is readily available and affordable to those in need (I believe this is what Ginsberg is talking about when she says her perception was wrong).

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Population Control (Part II)

Ziegler on Planned Parenthood, birth control, abortion, and race: “It was not until the late 1960s, however, that controversy about the racial politics of birth control and abortion became intense. There were several reasons for this shift. First, over the course of the 1950s and early 1960s, efforts to curb population growth enjoyed substantial popular support. In the same period, the movement for the legalization of abortion had picked up steam, attracting the official endorsement of Planned Parenthood in 1968. During this time, a militant streak within the civil-rights movement became more visible and politically significant. Organizations like the Black Panthers contended that birth control and abortion were part of a plan to eliminate poor people of color. Finally, the anti-abortion movement began to organize, connecting the abortion-legalization movement to eugenics and racism. These were the events that made the racial politics of abortion in the early 1970s so combustible.” From the previous paragraphs it seems anti-abortion advocacy groups had good reason to tie the legalization of abortion to eugenics and racism.

Ziegler on Planned Parenthood, abortion, race, and population control: “Under Guttmacher's influence, members of Planned Parenthood primarily justified abortion in consequentialist terms, invoking, among other things, the importance of population control. In a pamphlet on the benefits of legalizing abortion in New York, for example, Planned Parenthood stressed such arguments, arguing that legalization would result in lower rates of population growth and illegitimacy and decreased welfare expenses. Similar rhetoric appeared again in a 1969 interview with the New York Times, when Guttmacher argued that abortion reform was a problem closely related to the "population explosion" and contended that population-control efforts, including abortion, were intended to reduce poverty, not eliminate the poor. In 1970, in praising repeal acts in New York and Hawaii, Guttmacher also emphasized "the realization of the population problem. "We're now concerned more with the quality of population than the quantity," he told the Associated Press, in commenting on efforts to reform abortion laws.” Concern over the quality of the population was a eugenics philosophy and to say you want to use abortion to reduce poverty but not eliminate the poor is a very hypocritical statement. Also, the legalization of abortion did nothing to reduce the per capita expenditures on welfare (welfare continues to escalate year in and year out) even though abortion disproportionately affects the poor.

Ziegler on NARAL, abortion, and population control: “NARAL also framed abortion access partly by stressing concerns about population control. Along with arguments that abortion was a privacy right, the organization's official debate handbook included a whole category of arguments related to overpopulation. When faced with arguments that Beethoven would not have been born if people used legal abortion for eugenic purposes, NARAL activists were advised to reply that "possibly Hitler wouldn't have been born either." Other proposed claims asserted that "[l]egal abortion will decrease the number of unwanted children . . . and possibly subsequent delinquency, drug addiction, and a host of social ills." A final population control argument stated that "[s]ince contraception alone seems insufficient to reduce fertility to the point of no-growth, . . . we should permit all voluntary means of birth control (including abortion)." Of course, delinquency, drug addiction, and social ills mostly affect the poor and minorities and not the affluent. So, abortion for NARAL was a way to implement eugenic theories on the less fortunate and minorites.

Ziegler on NOW, abortion, and population control: “Even the National Organization for Women (NOW), a major feminist group, worked closely with population controllers and, for tactical reasons, borrowed some of their ideas. In November 1970, Christopher Tietze of the Population Council asked NOW President Wilma Scott Heide for NOW volunteers to participate in a study on the health effects of abortion. In writing to NOW state affiliates, Heide recommended participating, suggesting that "[t]he request from the Population Council represents the fact that we are viewed as responsible and stable." While some feminist proposals, like the Equal Rights Amendment, enjoyed substantial support in the early 1970s, population-control legislation, as we have seen, also enjoyed bipartisan support and popular approval. Heide's wish to tie her organization to the population control cause made strategic sense. Indeed, Heide also testified about population control in Congress, arguing that women's rights and overpopulation were inextricably linked.” The last sentence is key to note how women’s rights and overpopulation are linked. Hence, a woman’s right to abort a child because of overpopulation concerns is completely natural, respected, and desired or woman’s rights are not truly being practiced.

The following statement by Ziegler is not entirely true: “Roe acknowledged powerful arguments about race that had informed debate inside and outside of the Court, but the justices made no other reference to concerns about race, poverty, abortion access, or equal protection. Indeed, a few years later, in Maher v. Roe (1977) and Harris v. McRae (1981), the Court upheld laws denying public funding for abortion, rendering seemingly irrelevant any constitutional claim that abortion restrictions disproportionately impacted poor women.” The Court, did in fact, consider overpopulation, race, and poverty when deciding Roe for several reasons. First, Justice Potter Stewart saw “abortion was becoming one reasonable solution to population control. Poor people, in particular, were consistently victims of archaic and artificially complicated laws.” Justice Blackmun said, “In addition, population growth, pollution, poverty, and racial overtones tend to complicate and not to simplify the problem.” Secondly, abortion afflicts both the poor and minorities at a much higher rate than any other class of persons. African-Americans make up 42% of all abortions but only consist of 13% of the population. Therefore, even without federal funding, minorities and the poor are afflicted by abortions disproportionately. With federal funding, these numbers would only be even more disproportionate.