June 19, 2019 | Jerry Bergman

Is Secular Science Re-Opening the Door to Eugenics?

Further Opening the Door to Eugenics:

Justice Clarence Thomas’s Brief on Planned Parenthood, Eugenics, and Margaret Sanger

by Jerry Bergman, PhD


On May 28, 2019, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a strong, well-documented opinion detailing how Darwinism logically influenced Planned Parenthood, eugenics, and Margaret Sanger.[1] The pro-abortion secular media aggressively attacked his historical analysis, claiming, among other things, that it was factually incorrect. The critics’ bias was obvious in their choice of words. They referred to human embryos as “cells” or “cellular globules,” “future humans,” and other terms that dehumanized the unborn. They condemned Thomas’s reference to an aborted fetus “as if it were a child.” We should never forget that leading up to the Holocaust, the Nazis dehumanized their victims, calling them “vermin,” “lives not worth living,” and “useless eaters.”

Clarence Thomas’s opinion addressed the main aspect of an Indiana law at issue before the Supreme Court, specifically the “Sex Selective and Disability Abortion Ban.”[2] This statute “makes it illegal for an abortion provider to perform an abortion in Indiana when the provider knows that the mother is seeking the abortion solely because of the child’s race, sex, diagnosis of Down syndrome, disability, or related characteristics”[3] (excluding “lethal fetal anomalies” from the definition of disability). The law also requires the mother be advised of this restriction and provided information about financial assistance and adoption alternatives. The law only imposes liability on the abortion provider, not the woman.[4]

Some Background on the Supreme Court Case

On March 2016 Indiana passed a “fetal burial” law, signed by the then-governor Mike Pence, that (1) changed the manner in which fetal remains were to be disposed of, and (2) banned abortions solely based on race, sex, or disability of the embryo or fetus. The Seventh Circuit blocked both previsions of Indiana’s law. The case, called Box v. Planned Parenthood, was then appealed to the Supreme Court. In a three-page unsigned per curiam opinion, the Supreme Court reversed part of the Seventh Circuit’s ruling on the regulation of what is done with fetal remains, without ruling if the law placed an “undue burden” on women who get abortions. The Court declined to review, however, the more important second question, thus leaving the Seventh Circuit’s ban on enforcing the law in place. This means abortions based on race, sex and disability are, for the time being, permissible. Many court watchers are wondering if or when the Supreme Court will make a more expansive ruling about abortion, possibly even reversing Roe v. Wade. Judge Thomas used the occasion of the Indiana law, however, to remind people of the eugenical history of Planned Parenthood— particularly the highly racist beliefs of Margaret Sanger. His opinion can be read here.

Heads Explode in the Aftermath

Pro-abortion critics were ruthless in their attacks on Thomas’s historical analysis. Typical of the comments were these by Elie Mystal, who rationalized abortion based on race, sex or disability:

It could have been worse. And, as if to prove just how “worse” things could be, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a 20-page concurrence advancing the belief that both abortion and even birth control are really decentralized eugenics plots. He essentially argues that giving a woman any kind of reproductive control over her own body means the Nazis win. Everybody gets excited about the first part, because forcing a woman to dispose of an aborted fetus as if it were a child gives the right wing the sick pleasure they derive from shaming women who exercise personal control over their own bodies. But it’s the second part that brings the real attack upon a woman’s right to choose. The race/sex/disability ban is a way of making a woman’s choice invalid, if her choice offends our sensibilities. If you can get people to say “a woman has a right to choose, unless I don’t like the choice,” then you’ve basically won your battle to superimpose state control over a woman’s body.[5]

Note the name-calling such as “right wing” and “sick pleasure” as she rationalizes those who oppose abortion. Mystal’s terminology is anti-science, such as “control of a their own bodies”. An unborn baby is inside the women, but biologically is not part of the women’s body. The author of this missive, Elie Mystal, is the Executive Editor of Above the Law and a contributor at the very leftist journal Nation. Mystal’s dismissal of any connection between abortion and eugenics is, on its face, false, such as:

[the] Court need not confront the dangers of eugenic manipulation, if it simply respects women as autonomous beings. Every single reproductive choice could be called “eugenics” based on Thomas’s facile logic here. That includes every choice that results in actually having children…. Thomas doesn’t want to stop women from engaging in genetic manipulation. He wants to accrue the power of genetic manipulation unto himself. We can’t let him, or his conservative cabal, have it.[6]

Unintended Consequences

The Indiana law restricted abortion based on only three criteria: race, sex, and certain disabilities, including Down syndrome. The consequences of abortion based on race and sex can be seen in recent history. Until recently, in China, and to some degree in other countries, social pressure exists to abort females, in preference for males. This helps to explain the enormously disproportionate rate of abortions among different social classes and races. The Court for now elected not to prohibit abortion based on race, sex, and disability. What is revealing, though, is the widespread condemnation of Justice Thomas for his position. Here is a sample of what he explained in his well-thought-out opinion:

Each of the immutable characteristics protected by this law can be known relatively early in a pregnancy, and the law prevents them from becoming the sole criterion for deciding whether the child will live or die. Put differently, this law and other laws like it promote a State’s compelling interest in preventing abortion from becoming a tool of modern-day eugenics.[7]

Some pro-abortion leftists reacted with fury. Below a terrible picture of Clarence Thomas, Bess Levin raved against “The batshit broadside against abortion …  launched by Justice Clarence Thomas, which serves as a preview for how he might attempt to restrict a woman’s right to choose in the future.”[8] After objecting to calling a fetus a child, she responded that most women “are fully capable of using birth control in a responsible, non-eugenic manner …  just as most people don’t use abortion to further Nazi Germany-esque goals” –  a statement recognizing that some might choose to abort based on race, sex, or disability. As we will document, based on this “right,” some countries brag that women’s right to control their own body have almost complexly eliminated certain classes of people.

Another critic irrationally blamed the abortion problem on conservatives, whom she described as just mean, heartless, power hungry misogynists. She wrote:

instead of trying to uplift potential mothers and make it economically and professionally easier for them to have children, conservatives are only interested in forcing women, including black and brown women, to bear pregnancies against their will. Thomas and his ilk dislike abortion and birth control because it amplifies the free will of women.”[11]

Most of the critics focused on the rights of women, but ignored the rights of the father and the child. According to court decisions on abortion, fathers have no say in the mother’s decision to let his child live or die, even though half the baby’s genes are his. The unborn child, naturally, is unable to express his or her opinion.

The Eugenics Link

The point of the Indiana law was to prevent a woman or organization from using abortion as a tool of modern-day eugenics to abort based on race, sex or perceived disability. Thomas then recounted the history of eugenics with the clear message that we need to close the door on the potential of using abortion to further eugenic goals. He showed how the foundations for legalizing abortion in America were laid during the early 20th-century in the midst of the eugenics craze. He said,

The use of abortion to achieve eugenic goals is not merely hypothetical. The foundations for legalizing abortion in America were laid during the early 20th-century birth-control movement. That movement developed alongside the American eugenics movement. And significantly, 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.”

Margaret Sanger: Racist, Eugenicist

This book includes a whole chapter about Margaret Sanger, plus much more information on the history of eugenics and the sexual revolution.

Sanger arrogated to herself the right to decide not only who should live or die, but what populations of people should exist. As a means of reducing the “ever increasing, unceasingly spawning class of human beings who never should have been born at all,” Sanger argued in her book Pivot of Civilization that “Birth Control . . . is really the greatest and most truly eugenic method” of human eugenics.[9]  In Sanger’s view, birth control had been “accepted by the most clear thinking and far seeing of the eugenists themselves as the most constructive and necessary of the means to racial health.”[10]

Justice Thomas is an African American. The importance of this fact should not be lost in the debate on abortion and eugenics, because it was part and parcel of Sanger’s crusade against his race, and thus is of intense personal concern to Thomas and all black people. Thomas writes,

[I]n 1939, Sanger initiated the “Negro Project,” an effort to promote birth control in poor, Southern black communities. … . In a report titled “Birth Control and the Negro,” Sanger and her coauthors identified blacks as “‘the great problem of the South’”—“the group with ‘the greatest economic, health, and social problems’ ”—and developed a birth-control program geared toward this population.  black ministers should be involved in the program, noting, “‘We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.’”[12]

Another fact often lost in the debate is the essential role eugenics played in the founding of Planned Parenthood. Sanger was profoundly influenced by Darwin’s Origin of Species. Darwin’s views contributed to her conversion to, and active support of, eugenics. She became consumed with the necessity of reducing the numbers of the “less fit,” including “inferior races” such as “Negroes.” She also openly advocated sexual license, providing much support for the sexual revolution. The rebellion against morality that she helped to create has radically changed Western society, and abortion is one of several fruits of her rebellion.[13] The abortion issue is directly related to the moral collapse in the Western world of which Sanger was a major leader.

Sanger’s Anti-Christian, Anti-Capitalist Sexual Indulgence

Few people know about the indulgent lifestyle of Margaret Sanger. Margaret met architect and painter William Sanger at a party. He pursued her with gusto. They married in 1902 and soon had three children. She turned out to be a very difficult woman to live with, even though William tried everything within his power to please his wife. Part of the problem was her anti-Christian ethos, which is still a problem with the anti-pro-life movement. Planned Parenthood biographer George Grant writes that, not long after her initiation into radical causes such as anarchism, Margaret informed

her bewildered husband that she needed emancipation from every taint of Christianized capitalism—including the strict bonds of the marriage bed.  She even suggested to him that they seriously consider experimenting with various trysts, infidelities, fornications, and adulteries. Because of her careful tutoring in socialist dogma, she had undergone a sexual liberation—at least intellectually—and she was now ready to test its authenticity physically.[14]

Down the Eugenics Road Again in the 21st Century

Eugenics advocates are making inroads via abortion. New laws in Oregon and Illinois allow abortion up to nine months for any reason, even up to the day of birth. As if that were not concerning enough, the laws make these abortions to be financed by taxpayers, many of whom oppose abortion. Other eugenics-tainted abortion policies can be found around the world. In Iceland, women can use ultrasound, amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling evaluations to help diagnose genetic disorders, such as trisomy-21, which causes what is commonly called Down Syndrome, before birth. The purpose is to detect potential abnormalities so as to make judgements about aborting the fetus. The goal of such policies is to eliminate genetic diseases, but that was the same rationale first used in Nazi Germany to reduce or eliminate what the Nazis had dehumanized as inferior persons, “imbeciles” and “defectives.” How dare we forget that Germany’s slippery-slope policy was soon extended to the genocide of ethnic groups, including Slavic peoples, Jews, and Romani.

If we do not learn from the past, we are condemned to repeat it. The lessons of World Wars I and II are now on the verge of being forgotten. Those familiar with the history of the first half of the 20th Century will appreciate the importance of Justice Thomas’s review of the dark history of eugenics. As Graeme Donald concluded, if “there is one thing that man learns from experience, it is that man does not learn from experience.” Those who claim eugenics is dead need to beware of a  ‘new-genetics’ becoming very popular in the West, with abortion being one of its manifestations. The new genetics are trying to achieve human perfection by ‘de-selection.’ In 2010, “nearly 2,300 abortions of fetuses with mental and physical disabilities were carried out in the UK alone,” demonstrating that it is all too easy to be seduced down the Nazi route again.[15]

When politicians decide that some humans are less desirable than others, who will set the criteria? Who will decide who lives or dies? Those who think they are qualified to make such decisions should watch again the videos of the Holocaust, and cringe at the sight of some humans disposing of multi-millions of other humans they considered genetic trash. Graeme Donald reminds us that those abhorrent crimes were carried out a little over seventy years ago on European soil in one of the most educated nations on Earth.[16]

Evil can take root and thrive “not because people are powerless to prevent it, but because they fail to take effective action—even to perceive the necessity of doing so—until it is too late.”[17]


[1] https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/18pdf/18-483_3d9g.pdf

[2] Ind. Code §16–34–4–1 et seq

[3] §§16–34–4–1 to 16–34–4–8; see §16–34– 4–1(b).

[4] See §§16–34–2– 1.1(a)(1)(K), (2)(A)–(C), 16–34–4–9.

[5] Elie Mystal, 2019.Thomas Decides Abortion AND Birth Control are Tantamount to Eugenics Conspiracy. Justice Clarence Thomas’s 20-page concurrence is a frightening preview of our dystopian future. May 28. https://abovethelaw.com/2019/05/thomas-decides-abortion-and-birth-control-are-tantamount-to-eugenics-conspiracy/?rf=1

[6] Elie Mystal, 2019.

[7] https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/18pdf/18-483_3d9g.pdf

[8] Bess Levin, 2019. CLARENCE THOMAS LIKENS BIRTH CONTROL AND ABORTION TO NAZI SCIENCE. The Supreme Court Justice on Tuesday offered a preview of how he’ll go after a woman’s right to choose in the future. https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/05/clarence-thomas-abortion-eugenics

[9] Margaret. Sanger, 1922. Pivot of Civilization p. 187, 189.

[10] Margaret. Sanger, 1922. Pivot of Civilization p. 187, 189.

[11]  Bess Levin, 2019. CLARENCE THOMAS LIKENS BIRTH CONTROL AND ABORTION TO NAZI SCIENCE. The Supreme Court Justice on Tuesday offered a preview of how he’ll go after a woman’s right to choose in the future. https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/05/clarence-thomas-abortion-eugenics

[12] https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/18pdf/18-483_3d9g.pdf Emphasis added.

[13] Jerry Bergman, 2017. How Darwinism Corrodes Morality: Darwinism, Immorality, Abortion and the Sexual Revolution. 2017. Kitchener, Ontario, Canada: Joshua Press.

[14] George Grant, 2001.  Killer Angel: A Biography of Planned Parenthoods Founder. Nashville, TN: Highland Books, p. 22.

[15] Donald, Graeme, 2012. When the Earth Was Flat. All the Bits of Science We Got Wrong. London, UK: Michael O’Mara Books, 2012, p. 71.

[16] Donald, 2012, p. 71.

[17]Ball, Philip. 2013. Serving the Reich: The Struggle for the Soul of Physics Under Hitler. London: The Bodley Head, p. 6.

Dr. Jerry Bergman has taught biology, genetics, chemistry, biochemistry, anthropology, geology, and microbiology at several colleges and universities including for over 40 years at Bowling Green State University, Medical College of Ohio where he was a research associate in experimental pathology, and The University of Toledo. He is a graduate of the Medical College of Ohio, Wayne State University in Detroit, the University of Toledo, and Bowling Green State University. He has over 1,300 publications in 12 languages and 40 books and monographs. His books and textbooks that include chapters that he authored, are in over 1,500 college libraries in 27 countries. So far over 80,000 copies of the 40 books and monographs that he has authored or co-authored are in print. For more articles by Dr Bergman, see his Author Profile.

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  • John15 says:

    Chillingly informative, Brother Bergman. I wonder that, in Indiana at least, it has not been put forward that since no one federally can be discriminated against on the basis of sex, race or disability (within reason), wouldn’t abortion on that basis be considered the ultimate discrimination?

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