Skip to comments.Whiff of Eugenics: Ginsburg Tells NYT Roe Was About 'Populations That We Don't Want Too Many Of'
Posted on 07/09/2009 8:05:13 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
In a July 7 New York Times Magazine article ("The Place of Women on the Court"; HT to an e-mailer) apparently scheduled to appear in its July 12 print edition (based on its URL), Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg told the Times's Emily Bazelon 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."
Who is this "we" Ginsburg refers to?
Alleged reporter Bazelon did not follow up on this astounding admission.
Here, in full context of the Q&A discussion about women's reproductive rights, is Justice Ginsburg's statement:
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 dont know why this hasnt 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 dont 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 didnt 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.
Q: When you say that reproductive rights need to be straightened out, what do you mean?
JUSTICE GINSBURG: The basic thing is that the government has no business making that choice for a woman.
Q: Does that mean getting rid of the test the court imposed, in which it allows states to impose restrictions on abortion like a waiting period that are not deemed an undue burden to a womans reproductive freedom?
JUSTICE GINSBURG: Im not a big fan of these tests. I think the court uses them as a label that accommodates the result it wants to reach. It will be, it should be, that this is a womans decision. Its entirely appropriate to say it has to be an informed decision, but that doesnt mean you can keep a woman overnight who has traveled a great distance to get to the clinic, so that she has to go to some motel and think it over for 24 hours or 48 hours.
I still think, although I was much too optimistic in the early days, that the possibility of stopping a pregnancy very early is significant. The morning-after pill will become more accessible and easier to take. So I think the side that wants to take the choice away from women and give it to the state, theyre fighting a losing battle. Time is on the side of change.
It's pretty hard not to see Ginsburg's early perception of Roe as legalizing a convenient means for minimizing the number of poor, who "just happen" to be disproportionately non-white. Also recall that at the time, Medicaid was a program predominantly benefitting only the poor, and not the near middle-class entitlement into which more recent Congresses have morphed it.
Given Ginsburg's stated "at the time" position, there's little doubt that she would have declared the Hyde Amendment, which "barred the use of federal Medicaid funds for abortions except where the life of the mother would be endangered or in cases of rape or incest," unconstitutional. In the related case, Harris v. McRae, the Court upheld the Hyde Amendment by a 5-4 vote.
In its November 30, 2007 Henry Hyde obituary, the Washington Post quoted Dr. Wanda Franz, president of the National Right to Life Committee, who asserted that, "By conservative estimate, well over one million Americans are alive today because of the Hyde Amendment -- more likely two million."
So 1-2 million babies have been born into financially poor circumstances in the three-plus decades years since the Hyde Amendment became law. This apparently doesn't please Justice Ginsburg, or perhaps didn't please her at the time.
Ginsburg gets the wiggle room, in my opinion, because she told Bazelon that she "realized that my perception of it had been altogether wrong." The problem is that we can't tell what "it" is. Is it Roe v. Wade, the Hyde Amendment, or the facts and circumstances of the specific case?
Thanks to the remarkably incurious Bazelon, we don't know. What we do know is that at least for some time during her legal career, in her early 40s, Ginsburg, as a member of the unidentified "we" referred to earlier, thought that abortion as a means of controlling the population of relative undesirables was okey-dokey.
Tom Blumer is president of a training and development company in Mason, Ohio, and is a contributing editor to NewsBusters
Who is we, and who is we don’t want too many of? She is one twisted human/nazi.
Shhhhhhh, this is not important! There is a pool club thats being mean!!!! Now THAT is news!!!
I thought liberals hated the rich and wanted less of them. Can they make up their minds?
What an arrogant, evil excuse for a human.
I’ve read things in recent years that claim abortion advocates originally thought abortion would be used to control negro reproduction rates...that planned parenthood was originally created to eliminate black babies.
I guess their plan didn’t work out quite like they expected. Now I suppose they want to overturn roe vs wade. What a messed up world.
I didn’t know this, because the majority of abortions are obtained by white women, so it seems they got the opposite of the desired goal. Either way, abortion is sick, black or white, and should be outlawed.
No need to outlaw it, just publish it the same way other vital statistics are published, like birth announcements, marriage rituals and obituaries — give it its own column on the same page of every local newspaper.
The *rate* of abortion is much higher for black than white.
And the Jews say, “Never Again!”
Yea probably, I am just saying there are more dead white babies then black babies from Roe V Wade, thus backfiring on Sanger’s plan with Planned Parenthood.
Ginsburg a member of highest court in the land. Scary
I like this idea.
Eugenics? I would argue otherwise, but hey....
At any rate, I believe it was more about getting rid of undesirables and population control.
Per capita, it’s far more prevalent among black women.
Whiff? How about stench?
ok, but more white babies have been aborted.
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