Sterilizing the Unfit

John B. Shea
© 1997-2009 Catholic Insight
Reproduced with Permission
Catholic Insight

In his report "Call to sterilize the 'unfit'"[1], Father John Flynn L. C. stated that David Marsland, a British professor of sociology at Brunel University, London, holds that after five years of treatment drug addicts, alcoholics, and people with psychological problems, should be permanently sterilized to prevent child neglect and abuse. In 1997, Barbara Harris, a birth control activist who, in 1997 founded Project Prevention in the U.S., offered $300 for long-term contraception or sterilization to patients in the U.K. In Australia, a Family Court gave the go-ahead for hysterectomy on a disabled girl. Termination of pregnancy for Down Syndrome has increased three times in the last ten years. William Saletan, on the website Slate, said that 10 to 13% of applicants select in vitro embryos for height, intelligence, and athletic abilities.

These changes are a logical extension of the eugenic mentality. The innate dignity of the embryo is lost. The next step is forced sterilization of the "unfit".

While assessing the work of Charles Darwin, Francis Galton, a half cousin of Darwin, wondered if the human genetic makeup could be improved and undesirables be got rid of. To eradicate the unfit offspring, sterilization laws were first passed in 1907, and other eugenic laws limited the right to marry.[2]

In the 1930's, Hitler's Nazis, inspired by Galton adopted positive and negative eugenics with their notion of The Aryan Master Race. In the 1920s Margaret Sanger in New York, who founded Planned Parenthood, said, "The least fit to carry on the race are increasing it most rapidly." In the United Kingdom, Marie Stopes said that she would "legislate compulsory sterilization of the insane, feeble minded, revolutionary, and half castes." In the 1950s, a movement known as 'Trans-humanism' supported the use of science and technology to improve mental and physical capacities. It imagines the day when we may greatly expand the population by creating "post humans" by "uploading" our digitized brain content into sophisticated computers, and also "never die!"

Other bizarre variations in human reproduction have been suggested. One is that a new higher species of human being be produced by the fabrication of new nanomolecules in the sperm and ovum that can increase intelligence, and maybe even expand lifespan indefinitely.

On the other hand, some quite recently have gone so far as to state that the human race is toxic to the planet, and that we should no longer tolerate human reproduction at all!

In vitro fertilization of human beings has been a common event since the late 1960s, and is used extensively to facilitate biological research. All of the above practices are grossly immoral but are widely accepted by a society that is dominated by atheism and moral relativism and which has no interest in objective morality, and equates it, if it thinks of it at all, with the selfish wishes of the majority expressed and codified by the law of the land. Powerful elites in politics, medicine, and science, have chosen to ignore the ethics and morality inherited from the 2400 years tradition of Greek and Roman philosophy, and the Judeo-Christian tradition. They have substituted a "morality" in which each person determines what is good for himself or herself. As a result society is becoming progressively totalitarian and in danger of collapse. Sadly, many Catholics think similarly.

Some persons also believe that some human beings, the severely disabled, the senile, the unborn, the newborn, and the handicapped, in short, the "unfit" are indeed human beings but are not persons. It is to persons only that they attribute human dignity.

This belief is used as an excuse for many immoral activities.

Catholic bioethics and sound moral philosophy are not widely taught. A total renewal of sound catechesis and moral practice is needed if we are to fulfill our role and duty as witnesses to Christ.