Eugenics, I’m Embarrassed to Say, is Alive and Flourishing in Modern America

By Gary L. Welton Published on January 23, 2019

The modern eugenics movement is attributed to Sir Francis Galton (1822-1911). A half-cousin of Charles Darwin, Galton is perhaps better known as the Father of Psychological Testing. Galton argued that the human gene pool could be improved, natural selection explicitly facilitated, and the evolution of the human race accelerated, by reducing the number of children born to “below average” humans and increasing the number of children born to “above average” humans.

As a result of his thinking, more than 30 states adopted legislation aimed at compulsory sterilization of certain individuals. Margaret Sanger founded Planned Parenthood with the explicit goal of encouraging contraceptive use for poor and immigrant women, hence helping to realize Galton’s goal of improving the human gene pool.

The other means of altering the gene pool would be to take active steps to cleanse the human race of existing “inferior” peoples. This, of course, defined the Nazi regime. Hitler targeted individuals he deemed to be inferior, sometimes on the basis of mental ability, and other times on the basis of his racial and ethnic stereotypes.

Indeed, Hitler’s operationalization of eugenics convinced society that such steps were inhumane, unethical, and totally unacceptable. Eugenics had seen its height and would quickly decline. Or so we like to think.

Abortion is Racial Cleansing

Since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, more than 60,000,000 babies have been aborted in America. This dwarfs the number of Jews exterminated by Hitler. This dwarfs the number of Soviets murdered by Stalin. Margaret Sanger seems to have facilitated her goal, given these abortions are not evenly distributed across the American population.

The 2010 U.S. Census indicates that 72.4% of residents indicated that their race was “white alone.” 27.6% indicated some minority racial/ethnic status. Abortion distribution in America, however, is dramatically different. According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention summary of data from 36 states, approximately 50.5% of abortions in the U.S. in 2014 were obtained by white women. 49.5% were obtained by women of minority racial or ethnic status. (14 states did not report, did not report by race, or did not meet reporting standards)

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When I crunch these numbers, I learn that minority fetuses are more than twice as likely to be aborted in America than white fetuses. The most vulnerable and oppressed group in America (the unborn) are not being treated with equality. This, by another name, is the practice of eugenics.

As Ian McEwan wrote in The Child in Time, “Children are our greatest resource.” For most people, it is very easy to become a parent. It is very hard to be a parent. The decision to become a parent is a decision to accept the toughest job in America. The decision to abort a baby is a decision to put one’s convenience ahead of another’s life.

Denying Social Justice

I know many Christians who are living out their faith by adopting one or more babies. Many of these adoptions today involve international handicapped children, in large part because American babies are not available, given the practice of abortion.

I regularly hear the accusation that conservative Americans don’t care about the poor, racial equity, or social justice (and certainly, we can do better). Nevertheless, I argue that among the largest oppressed group in America, the unborn, there is no equality in support of minority opportunities for life.

There is no social justice when racial and ethnic minorities are being aborted at a rate more than 200% higher than white Americans. The liberal support of abortion is the ultimate evidence of racial and ethnic inequality in America. It is the ultimate denial of social justice. It is time to put eugenics to death.


Dr. Gary L. Welton is assistant dean for institutional assessment, professor of psychology at Grove City College, and a contributor to The Center for Vision & Values. He is a recipient of a major research grant from the Templeton Foundation to investigate positive youth development.

Originally published by The Center for Vision & Values and is reprinted with permission.

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