Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Proto Eugenics and 'Choice'

The Scottish professor Neil McKegany, of the Centre for Drug Misuse Research, suggests implimenting a policy of paying heroin addicts not to have children, by giving cash in return that women take long term contraception. But even worse than this he suggests that those who are already parents be given a year to kick their habits or have their children taken away - permanently, for adoption.

A spokesman from the Catholic Church rightly asked where this would end. Who would be next? Alcoholics? He was probably only too aware of the eugenic undertones of this. Prior to World War II and Hitler's eugenic Reich the Church was the strongest opponent of eugenic ideas that had wide support among the elites. Sadly many progressives found themselves on the wrong side, and bought into destructive ideas of social engineering, the idea that 'inferiors' should be dissuaded from breeding.
Fabians such as Bernard Shaw, the Webbs, and HG Wells supported negative eugenics.
But most notable was the founder of 'Planned Parenthood' Margaret Sanger, the birth control activist and modern 'feminist' heroine.

The proposed policy in Scotland gets bleaker. Worse still, the Labour Party are considering adopting it as part of their manifesto. It is suggested that addicts sign a contract agreeing not to have children. If they breach the contract not only will the children be taken away from them but their methadone prescriptions and State benefits will also be withdrawn.

This in the wake of the tragic deaths of some children who died as a result of neglect by addicted parents. But it is a vicious response that will help nobody. Parents with such problems should be given all the help they need to support their children, along with adequate treatment for addiction geared towards the need of the individuals. They do not need threats like these. Drug addicts have enough problems as it is. I have seen parents who have had their children taken away due to addiction - and the loss has worsened their problems. Losing all you have only makes you want to give up completely, driving you further into despair. Yet the plans wish to make it easier for children to be removed from parents in such situations. If the new plans come into fruition women pregnant while attempting to recover from an addiction will only have two choices - abortion or removal of not only your baby but removal of all else - treatment and benefit. An extremely stark scenario.

While suffering from or attempting to break from an addiction is not the ideal time to have children, but draconian policies like this are not the way to address the issue. The way to address it is via adequate treatment and support - support for both vulnerable parents and children from social services and the community.

The Scottish National Party thankfully opposes such proposals. It is yet another example of New Labour getting 'tough' on the most marginalised groups in society - a classic characteristic of the bully, the powerful attacking the powerless.

It is the same mentality of the eugenicists - any measures necessary to ensure that 'degenerates', 'undesirables' etc, do not reproduce. It is not a war against drugs but a war against the weak and the poor.

Any mention of reducing the upper time limit on abortion and 'pro choice' groups such as 'Abortion Rights' are up in arms. Yet they are silent on matters like these, and the proposed draconian policy did not get the media attention that it should have done.

It is also noteworthy how 'Abortion Rights' are silent over the arrest and trial of the noble Chen Guangcheng for exposing the forced abortions and coercive population policies of the Chinese government. This was a removal of reproductive choice for women, and if they really were in favour of choice they would be wholeheartedly backing him. They cannot argue that they only focus on British law, as this article shows that they do think internationally, at least when it suits them. They are not only silent about Chen but are also silent about forced abortions and coercive population policies full stop. They only care about 'choice' when the choice involved is abortion. The only ' reproductive right' they care about is the right not to reproduce. Their propaganda is full of misinformation. It is high time that these people be exposed as the liars they are, and that the left and trade unions stop giving this group the unconditional support that they do. They quite often get articles published in the left wing press, yet it is very difficult for left wing pro lifers (or even those who simply wish to see restrictions such as a reduction in the current time limit) to get any space. They stop the left from being able to have an open and honest debate on the abortion issue, as they and similiar minded people long ago succeeded in enforcing a false consensus and a climate of fear around this particular shibolleth.

'Reproductive rights' have long been denied in China, and now the British government are talking of denying them to the most vulnerable people in the country. Some of us must speak up against it. An attack on the most marginalised is symtomatic of a wider mentality. It is a dangerous mentality, the pro death ethos, and it must be fought tooth and nail. 'First they came for......'

As the spokesman from the church recognised (and he seemed to have been the only one to have expressed this insight) it may not stop with drug addicts. Hitler in fact began with the mentally ill. Nobody objected to this, and thus he was given leeway to move in on other 'defected' people. Drug addicts occuoy the same kind of position today. They are stereotyped in all kinds of ways and are generally thought of as being if not evil then at least undeserving. But they are people with problems - who need the full dignity and humanity granted to everybody else. Full human dignity is stripped from people when their basic human rights are denied.


Anonymous said...

Nice one Liz!
You may be interested in this discussion forum, nothing like it in UK but we are welcome, am the only British contributor at the moment.
Can I paste your article on it?

Paddy Garcia said...

And we musnt forget about Sangers British equivalent, Marie Stopes:
She has clinics named after her, they happen to be one of the biggest abortionists in Britain, a lot on NHS abortions are contracted out to them.

Anonymous said...

And to all you pro "choicers" out there, this is what you believe in:

Liz said...

anon - You may by all means paste my article on the site. I'll take a look at it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, done so take a look.

Paddy garcia said...

Not only in China:
When will the left wake up?

Liz said...

That was an interesting link, Paddy. Not much 'choice' going on there.

Anonymous said...

Great article! I especially liked this bit: "If the new plans come into fruition women pregnant while attempting to recover from an addiction will only have two choices - abortion or removal of not only your baby but removal of all else - treatment and benefit. An extremely stark scenario."

That is indeed a stark scenario--and one that EVERYONE, regardless of his/her position on abortion, should be able to agree is APPALLING and needs to be remedied swiftly and decisively.

Thanks for raising awareness about this issue.


Liz said...

You're welcome Tam, thank you too.

As with the case in China, it is a horrific situation that everyone should oppose, whatever their basic position on abortion. It is something that pro life and pro choice people should be able to oppose together. I was horrified when I found out about it and was quite angry it had not received more media coverage - as if these people are undeserving of full human rights! It really is a disgrace.

Anonymous said...

Cool stuff here:
Will find out if they will deliver to UK. If youre interested let me know!

sabele said...

Where to start with this article, conflating issues of forced abortion, women's right to autonomy over their own body (which of course means that they should not have an abortion), if they don't want one)and issues about drug addicted parents.

I don't recall reading anything where the people proposing the measures around drug addicts, proposed force abortion, or anything remotely equivalent.

I agree that drug addicts are a vulnerable section of society - but if we are ranking how vulnerable people are, what about their children? Surely they are at the mercy of the strength of their parents addiction.

There is growing evidence to show that many addicted parents are incapable of looking after the basic needs of their children - food, shelter, safety, never mind their development and emotional wellbeing.

What are we to do about these children - the mantra of most drug agencies is that people have to want to give up drugs and get help. Serious drug addiction usually means that addicts only focus on getting their next fix, with thoughts of others or getting help very far removed.

We are leaving too many children to cope in totally unsafe situations, because of the laudable desire to keep families together at all costs.

Yes there should be more and more effective treatment, but what about the children whose health and safety and development are being compromised on a daily basis.

I'd also like to see more support going to the granparents, other family members and foster and other carers who take on children whose parents are lost to their addiction.

I do have some qualms about this policy, but I have even bigger qualms about leaving children to 'cope' in these families.

By the way - a woman's right to choose? Yes choose - means that it should be up to the woman, so how you can argue that we are in favour of forced abortions beats me.

Liz said...

Who is the 'we' here, Sabele? True, children who have addicted parents are vulnerable and the problem should be addressed - but not like that. How you cannot see that the policy will lead to coerced abortions beats me. If somebody is threatened with having their treatment, along with all State benefits, withdrawn if they carry the child to term then they will really have no other option aside from abortion. So it would not exactly be a 'choice' would it? If anybody supports such a policy they are not pro choice.
End of.

sabele said...

Who is 'we'? I suppose I mean us as a nation, or us as society.

The problem with the argument that people would be threatened with having treatment and benefits removed in the carry the child to term is - that they aren't!

As far as I have read, nobody closely connected with the proposals has proposed anything close to this - but rather that if addicts choose not to go on long-term contraception, then access to treatment and benefits would be limited.

I am as I said before a bit uncomfortable with this - but it seems to me a huge leap to infer that this would mean that pregnant women would be denied all the support that they need. I am sure that those connected with the proposals are thoughtful and caring individuals and would not for a minute consider cutting off support to pregnant women.

If I've missed something in my reading about these proposals, and they do propose such action, then I - and I'm sure any other pro-choice supporters - would be horrified and would certainly not support it.

Liz said...

You are sure they must be caring individuals. You're really quite naive, aren't you, if that is what you think of politicians. As for 'long term contraception' that is not suitable for everyone, perhaps especially not people who are already medicated.

It is in the proposals of the government that treatment and benefits be withdrawn, along with the children, if the contract is breached. The link is:

I should have linked to that initially and have edited so that I do. This is what those 'thoughtful and caring' individuals from New Labour want to do to vulnerable people. I hope that now you are horrified and cease to support it.