Tuskegee on the Pacific

Why are teenage Hawaiian girls being targeted for dangerous, late-term abortion research?

By Jason Scott Jones Published on May 12, 2015

Imagine that you were an evil scientist. No, I don’t mean a figure from a James Bond movie who wanted to build a giant laser to menace his enemies. Think smaller. Think of little men with petty curiosities, research grants to win, and reputations to build. Their evil is banal, but its outcome is often deadly.

If you were that kind of evil scientist, and you wanted to answer a medical question that would require cruel, destructive research on human beings, what would you do? Where would you look for subjects? How do you pick your victims?

You would go to a population that was weak or marginalized, if not in fact totally helpless. You’d shun the light of day, and conduct your hazardous research where nobody would object. When scientists starting in the 1930s wanted to watch the effects of untreated syphilis on patients, they chose poor, illiterate black men in the segregated South. They told the “control group” that they’d be receiving medicine, but instead gave them placebos, and duly observed their descent into madness and painful death.

Grotesquely, these white doctors conducted these experiments through Tuskegee University, a school that Booker T. Washington had founded to raise freed blacks up from poverty. When Dr. Heinrich Gross wanted to experiment on handicapped children, he chose the Spiegelgrund Clinic in Nazi-occupied Vienna, again selecting a site that was founded for the diametrically opposite purpose: to offer loving, Christian education to special-needs children. When friends of Margaret Sanger wanted to test the new, still extremely hazardous birth control pill on unwitting subjects, they chose poor, young Spanish-speaking women in a U.S. colony, Puerto Rico. Our conquest of Puerto Rico from Spain had been carried out in the name of liberation and equal rights.

And now, a group of researchers are conducting the same kind of reckless, dehumanizing research in Hawaii. The subject? Late term abortion, itself a grotesque practice that butchers unborn children who are edging close to viability, who if they were simply born would qualify as neo-natal patients. The object? As Kristan Hawkins, of Students for Life of America, has reported:

Researchers in Hawaii are recruiting girls as young as 14 to participate in second trimester abortions, where the preborn baby is 18-24 weeks gestation, in order to test whether or not oxytocin can reduce bleeding in mothers during and after abortion. The study is being conducted by the University of Hawaii and the University of Washington in Seattle.

Some of the mothers will be given anti-bleeding medication; others will not. And none of the women subjected to this gruesome procedure will get any follow-up doctor visits. They will be discarded, along with their babies, like so much medical waste. As Troy Newman told Breitbart.com:

This study is reminiscent of Nazi concentration camp experiments. I pity the poor women who are being treated like lab rats, especially those who are denied the drug to reduce hemorrhaging.

Once again, subhumanist scientists, who see human beings as brainier if less compliant guinea pigs, are targeting the weak and the vulnerable, including young teenage girls without the knowledge of their parents. And once more there’s almost demonic symbolism at work. You see, if you lived in Hawaii you’d certainly know that the Kapiolani Medical Center was founded by a devout Christian, Queen Kapiʻolani of Hawaii, just three short years before American planters engineered a coup that deposed the government, and handed over Hawaii to the U.S. Kapiolani embodied not only the Christian imperative to serve the needy and the indigent; it also grew out of profound indigenous Hawaiian traditions of community and care.

Another such tradition, called hānai, inspired Hawaiians for hundreds of years to take in and adopt children in need. So generous and so widespread was this practice, that hānai children are treated as indistinguishable from one’s own biological offspring. Thanks to hānai, among native Hawaiians no child is really an unwanted child — since more children are seen as a blessing to any family. Imagine that.

As someone who has been privileged to live in Hawaii for the past 25 years, and has learned so much from its culture about caring for the vulnerable and cherishing the young, I am outraged that scientists from the mainland are singling out our young women and our girls for this unethical experiment, which always kills one of the human subjects involved, and gravely endangers the other. I am sickened that it is being conducted, of all places, in a hospital founded explicitly to offer protection and care to the neediest among us — the same spirit that drove St. Damien of Molokai and Mother Marianne to tend to the lepers.

It’s the kind of outrage at which future generations will shake their heads and ask, “How did that happen here?” The answer, I fear, is obvious: Predators seek out the marginalized.

I hope that Americans across the mainland will stand with native Hawaiians and all the people of Hawaii in demanding that this perversion of science come to an end. It is our job to stand in solidarity with the marginalized and to be strong, even fierce in their defense.

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