Virginia’s Forced Sterilization Policy
The governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia has issued an apology to the victims of the state’s forced sterilization law. Approximately 8,000 people were involuntarily sterilized in Virginia between 1927 and 1979. Virginia forcibly sterilized more people than any other state except California, where 20.000 people were sterilized. A total of 65,000 were sterilized throughout the United States.
“‘The eugenics movement was a shameful effort in which state government never should have been involved,’” Governor Mark Warner (D) stated in his apology, which was read on the 75th anniversary of the Buck v. Bell decision, in which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the 1924 Virginia eugenics law that gave the state the right to forcibly sterilize.
Carrie Buck was a 17-year-old unwed mother who sued to overturn the law after her forced sterilization. She was committed to the Virginia Colony for Epileptics and the Feebleminded in Lynchburg, VA, after becoming pregnant outside of wedlock. After giving birth to her daughter Vivian, she was coercively sterilized.
Eight Supreme Court justices, including Oliver Wendell Holmes,Jr., voted to uphold the sterilization law in Buck v. Bell. Holmes justified their decision: “It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind…Three generations of imbeciles are enough.”
The entire decision was based on a lie. Carrie was not mentally disabled. Neither her mother before her or her daughter after her suffered from “feeble-mindedness.” She was committed to the Virginia Colony to save her foster family embarrassment, after having been raped by the foster parent’s nephew.
A number of victims of Virginia’s forced sterilization policy are still alive. One of them, Raymond Hudlow, 76, went on to become a decorated World War II veteran. Hudlow was sterilized at age 16 after attempting to run away from his abusive father. At a recent ceremony honoring him, he stated, “l hope it never again happens to any other child. It is horrible. You have no children. No family.” The 8,000 forced sterilizations in Virginia are a blot on the state’s history. Unfortunately, this human rights abuse continues to occur in US-funded population control program all over the world.
(William Branigan. “Va. Apologizes to the Victims of Sterilizations,” Washington Post, 3 May 2002, B1)
Too Many Boys
The sex imbalance in China continues to grow at an alarming rate. The imbalance has reached a new high of 116.9 male births for every 100 female births in China, much higher than the naturally occurring ratio of 105–107 male births for every 100 female. Beijing University Professor Chu Junhong’s claim that, “Prenatal sex selection was probably the primary cause, it not the sole cause.” of this problem ignores the most important factor — the coercive one-child policy. While it’s true that many Chinese couples prefer their only child to be a boy, they would not be faced with this decision if allowed to have more children.
The imbalance has been climbing in China the past 20 years. The last official statistic was 111.3 males for every 100 females. Now the ratio is as high as 130 males for every 100 females born in Guangdong and 135 to 100 in Hainan.
The Chinese government is concerned this imbalance will “damage social and economic stability” in the future and encourage trade in kidnapped women. The communist regime is unwilling to do the one thing that would help to restore this balance — abolish the one-child policy and allow families to have as many children as they desire.
(John Gittings, “Growing Sex Imbalance Shocks China,” The Guardian (UK), 13 May 2002)
A recent study conducted by the Hutchinson Cancer Research Center concluded that use of hormonal contraceptives increases a woman’s risk of developing an aggressive form of HIV. The group studied 115 prostitutes in Kenya and found that those who took either oral contraceptive pills or contraceptive injections had a five-to seven-fold higher risk of becoming infected with multiple strains of HIV. Multiple strains of HIV have been found to develop faster into full-blown AIDS.
(Julia Sommerfeld, “‘The ‘Pill’ linked to aggressive HIV,” MSNBC.com, 27 February 2002)
There is a link between the large numbers of abortions performed on Greek women, and the high incidence of infertility in Greece, according to Ioannis Bodis, professor of Gynecology at Aristotle University. Abortions are to blame for a 40% decrease in fertility. Bodis estimates that there are 150,000 Greek couples who are unable to bear children due to a previous abortion,
(“Greece First in Abortions,” Macedonian Press Agency. 22 April 2002, quoted in LSN.ca, 23 April 2002)