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As I recently discussed the topic of abortion with an evolutionary biologist—dialoguing about these two popularly claimed moral motives, I came to realize that these two points are both self-defeating and illogical. In fact, abortion (and many other reproductive preventions) is an important aspect of eugenics. A cursory overview of the literature recording statistics on abortions yields the conclusion that most women who seek abortions do not do so because the baby poses a threat to their physical health.
There are many published reports, however, which insist that women who are denied abortions have far worse ongoing “health issues” than those who complete abortions. But when these reported health issues are examined, it becomes apparent that the health claims are typically mental and not physical health issues. Time magazine, for example, published an article in 2019 entitled “Women Who Are Denied Abortions May Face Long-Lasting Health Problems, Study Says,” and began the article with this topic sentence:
When it comes to abortion, the health claims made have more to do with the woman’s mind and her economic status than they do with her physical body. Moreover, it has also been shown and agreed upon by almost all researchers that women who complete abortions have troubling mental problems thereafter—though what causes the mental distress after abortion is controversial and debated. Simply stated, mental health is the primary topic at hand in defense of abortion and claims that abortion is a women’s health issue.
It becomes essential, then, to understand that abortion is considered to be a medical issue because it has its roots in the most destructive and widespread historical theory of insanity/madness ever propagated: the medical model of mental illness constructed by Emil Kraepelin and carried out in the Holocaust.
To argue that abortion is a medical issue is a logical fallacy unless the Kraepelinian theory of eugenics, in which abortion was conceived, is also accepted. And to argue that a woman’s own civil/reproductive rights are the highest moral value in the abortion discussion is to undermine the theory of evolution and the very philosophical beliefs that undergird the acceptance of abortion.
What will also become clear is that the discussion of a woman’s reproductive rights and abortion are born out of the Kraepelinian theory of eugenics. The belief that abortions are medicinal, humane, and ethical are delusions that must be addressed and should not be perpetuated. To understand the insanity of abortion, we must examine the history and the belief system that created this barbaric practice.
Margaret Sanger, who is widely credited with starting Planned Parenthood and helping to spearhead abortion as an accepted medical procedure, was both an acquaintance of Ernst Rüdin—the Father of Nazi Eugenics—and a supporter of his theories. Rüdin—the psychiatrist who assumed leadership over the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Germany, who would carry out Emil Kraepelin’s original theory, and who penned the legislature for and thereafter ushered in one of the most destructive psychiatric experiments in history (the Holocaust)—wrote for and was regularly quoted in Sanger’s published journal: Birth Control Review. In one published article in the Review entitled “Eugenical Sterilization, an Urgent Need,” Rudin wrote,
The danger to the community of the unsegregated feeble-minded woman is more evident. Most dangerous are the middle and high grades living at large who, despite the fact that their defect is not easily recognizable, should nevertheless be prevented from procreation.
Here, of course, action should only be taken after careful personal examination and a survey of the family pedigree. So far, we have been considering the voluntary sterilization of the individual patient, whether mentally diseased or mentally subnormal. Consideration should now be given to the case of the individual who, though not himself a sufferer, may be a carrier or potential transmitter of mental disease.
He later writes,
My experience has led me to the conclusion that systematic and careful propaganda should be undertaken where sterilization is advisable. Such propaganda should, of course, be gradual and should be directed in the first instance at the medical directors in institutions and schools, medical officers of health, and finally at private practitioners.
Where sterilization would become operative amongst the most degenerate group in the community. In short, genetic prognosis will become more and more urgently necessary, and I repeat that birth control is wholly inadequate as a means of preventing procreation in the group where prevention is most necessary.
Sterilization and other forms of reproductive prevention (including abortion) were, and still are, a major tenet in the eugenics movement of which Rüdin and Sanger were both figureheads during their lives. In one medical journal, the authors remark on Rüdin’s significance:
Rüdin advocated the goals of eugenics early in his career and called, in numerous publications and reviews, for prohibition of marriage and sterilization (sic) of “inferior persons” such as mentally ill and handicapped persons, criminals, alcoholics, and prostitutes.
Rüdin formulated the primary goal of his ‘psychiatric-genealogical’ research, namely to create a scientific basis for racial hygiene measures, thereby solving the ‘social issue’ (Soziale Frage, social ills of industrialized (sic) societies in 19th century Europe). Rüdin, who had worked under Emil Kraepelin (1856–1926) in Heidelberg and Munich, adopted his psychiatric nosology and was influenced by Kraepelin’s belief in a strong hereditary component.
Rudin was also instrumental in passing laws which attempted to prevent perceived hereditary diseases (including assumed genetic, mental illnesses) from being passed down:
Rüdin continued to promote prevention of assumed hereditary mental illnesses by prohibition of marriage or sterilisation (sic) and was influential in the introduction by the National Socialist regime of the 1933 ‘Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring’ (Gesetz zur Verhütung erbkranken Nachwuchses).
Psychiatrist Peter Breggin notes that psychiatrists implementing Nazi eugenics included “state control over human reproduction” as one of their “fundamental principles”:
The sixth basic principle is involuntary eugenics, involving state control over human reproduction by means of castration and sterilization. It is frequently, but not always, associated with the medical model and biological psychiatry. Psychiatry did not invent coercive eugenics – it evolved from many sources within and outside the medical and social sciences – but psychiatry quickly became its most effective champion (emphasis added).
One cannot discuss abortions without also discussing Kraepelin’s theory of mental illness—which included eugenics as a foundational tenet—and his student Ernst Rüdin’s Nazi eugenics movement (including sterilization, racial hygiene, and birth preventions).
As the director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Munich and the one who ushered in the Nazi Eugenics program in Germany, Rüdin was determined to carry out Kraepelin’s theory of mental illness under the guise of science, medicine, and “social justice.” One of the primary tenets of Kraepelin’s and Rüdin ‘s shared theory was a philosophy referred to as “degeneration” or “degenerationism.”
Individual degenerationism is the Darwinian belief that evolution is a positive progression of human nature, and when mental, emotional, behavioral, or physical variances occur from an alleged norm, then the individuals who fit this perceived abnormal state are set aside (either blatantly or inconspicuously stigmatized) as degenerates, disordered, or abnormal people. Psychiatrists writing for The Psychiatric Times comment on Kraepelin’s introduction of degenerationism into his paradigm of madness/mental illness:
Contemporary psychiatry sees Kraepelin as this heroic figure whose legacy has been reclaimed, and . . . there is much in Kraepelin’s thoughts (such as his views on degeneration) that modern psychiatry would find problematic, if not odious. If Kraepelin could be resurrected in flesh and blood, what would he think of the DSM and the notion that it is neo-Kraepelinian? Would he be proud of his legacy (emphasis added)?
Though the entire mental health system in the United States today is “neo-Kraepelinian” (the “medical model of mental illness”) and individual degenerationism is still a key philosophy that sustains this failed approach (though some wish to deny this reality), degenerationism was widely embraced by Ernst Rüdin and, thereafter, by Hitler and Nazi Germany under the alleged scientific field of eugenics. In the respected medical journal PLOS, several psychiatrists note the influence of the philosophy of degenerationism upon psychiatry’s etiological theory of mental illness being genetic:
Formal genetic psychiatry was established in the early 20th century at a time of therapeutic nihilism, when psychiatry was strongly influenced by the theory of hereditary degeneration. This, combined with economic considerations, led to a change of emphasis from healing to prevention of the more severe types of psychiatric illness.
This was reflected in the popularity of the eugenics movement, which advocated measures such as restrictions on marriage or sterilisation (sic) to prevent inherited disease. A key aim of psychiatric genetic research was to provide scientific evidence that severe mental illnesses were inherited, thus strengthening the case for eugenic measures.
Ernst Rüdin (1874–1952) has been credited as the originator of modern psychiatric human genetics on the basis of his research aiming to establish inheritance estimates, that is the risk of a relative developing the same disease as the index patient, which he termed the “empirische Erbprognose (’empirical heredity prognosis’) (emphasis added).
Rüdin was not just an essential figure in the Eugenics/racial hygiene movement in Nazi Germany; he was the figurehead and driving force. Rüdin would ensure that Kraepelin’s theory of hereditary degeneration (eugenics) was both empirically tested and taken to its theoretical end. Psychiatrist Peter Breggin comments on Rüdin’s sobering control and prominent influence in the Holocaust:
How objective was this scientist? How unbiased were his motivations? When Hitler came to power, Rüdin was ready for him. It was Rüdin who influenced Hitler, not Hitler, who influenced Rüdin. The psychiatrist became the architect and official interpreter of the first legislation establishing the Nazi eugenics program that lead (sic) to the castration and sterilization of tens of thousands of individuals accused of being schizophrenic, retarded, epileptic, or in some other way physically or mentally “defective.”
Psychiatrist Robert Lifton also remarks,
The predominant medical presence in the Nazi sterilization program was Dr. Ernst Rüdin, a Swiss-born psychiatrist of international renown. Originally a student of Emil Kraepelin. ‘The aim of his life’ was to establish the genetic basis for psychiatric conditions, and that “he was not so much a fanatical Nazi as a fanatical geneticist.”
In Kraepelin’s and Rudin’s minds, people who were viewed as a threat to society, who were theorized (as they are today) to be genetically defective, who were determined to be delusional (mad; deceived), or who were behaving in ways that were dysfunctional were said to be mentally ill or insane. In truth, the Holocaust was one of the most horrific “scientific” and “medical” experiments ever conducted; it was a psychiatric experiment and attempt to both prove and carry out Kraepelinianism.
While Hitler and other political figures likely had alternative political motives apart from Kraepelinianism, Rüdin wished to both prove and carry out his mentor’s theory of mental illness, and Hitler believed in Rudin’s psychiatric vision and “medical authority.” To prove Kraepelinianism, Rüdin needed degenerates or “defectives” to test.
Moreover, to carry out the prevention of ongoing mental illness and bring about racial hygiene to Germany, Rüdin needed to eliminate degenerates lest they continue to procreate. It was the Jews and Gypsies whom Kraepelin first diagnosed as mentally ill and whom Rüdin would use as his psychiatric test subjects and eventually seek to eliminate once the “mental defectives” and “feebleminded” were eliminated.
But if the proliferation of degenerates could be prevented rather than their being cured or eliminated—especially if they could be convinced to cooperate willingly, then Rüdin’s mission would be brought to fruition more easily. Kraepelin had already been working hard for decades to prove his biomedical psychiatric theory and to discover a medical cure for psychosis, but he had failed to find a valid and reliable cure for insanity.
With the political climate as it was post-WWI, it seemed the time to move from a cure approach to a prevention approach. As the writers in one article published in PLOS recognize, this thinking was precisely what led Rüdin and his followers to a change of emphasis from healing to prevention of the more severe types of psychiatric illness. This was reflected in the popularity of the eugenics movement, which advocated measures such as restrictions on marriage or sterilisation (sic) to prevent inherited disease.
Dr. Brune also discusses psychiatry, eugenics, and social Darwinians:
At that time, human ‘self-domestication’ appealed to psychiatry, because it served as a causal explanation for the alleged degeneration of the ‘erbgut’ (genetic material) of entire populations and the presumed increase of mental disorders. Consequently, Social Darwinists emphasized preventing procreation by people of “lower genetic value” and positively selecting favorable traits in others.
Sterilizations, and eventually abortions, would become the status quo—not in Nazi Germany, however, but in modern America, and people would willingly submit to these practices rather than be forced into them. The entire structure of eugenics rests on creating abnormal people and claiming their “treatments” to be medicinal—a health care issue. In fact, the medical definition of eugenics is:
A pseudoscience with the stated aim of improving the genetic constitution of the human species by selective breeding. Eugenics is from a Greek word meaning ‘normal genes.’ It is important to note that no experiment in eugenics has ever been shown to result in measurable improvements in human health.
In truth, eugenics is a social control mechanism—a pseudoscience—that creates degenerates/abnormal people and attempts to prevent and limit their procreation or to eliminate them altogether.
Kraepelin, and thereafter Rüdin, also proposed that society view mental and behavioral struggles as biologically caused (genetic variances, brain dysfunctions, or chemical imbalances) and thus biologically treated. In fact, another philosophy that Kraepelin taught and Rüdin accepted as a companion to degenerationism was the attempt to define and approach the human soul as only material.
This philosophy is known as materialism/ reductionism/ positivism/ scientism. Belief in materialism and degenerationism are essential to propagate and hold to the larger theory of eugenics. Materialism is a philosophy that not only attempts to explain all of human nature (including the spiritual or metaphysical reality such as the soul) within a limited biological or material explanation, but it also seeks to remedy all of human distress, impairment, and problems through material solutions.
This popular belief denies dualism—the biblical understanding that humanity is both a spiritual being with a physical body. Kraepelinianism (the medical model of mental illness established in American today by the American Psychiatric Association) must deny the psychosomatic reality of human nature to exist. The prominent Nazi doctors conducting the psychiatric experiments in the Holocaust were almost all Kraepelinian psychiatrists led by Ernst Rüdin and spurred on by degenerationism and materialism, which are foundational to the larger eugenics theory of mental illness.
Under the Nazi eugenics theory in the early 1900s, mothers who wished to kill their offspring were considered to be genetically flawed/mentally ill, so women who posed a threat to society were discouraged or kept from procreating. Since materialism was the predominant secular belief system that enabled eugenics, mental, emotional, and behavioral problems (such as a mother’s rejection of her own offspring) were viewed as a mental illness in accordance with Kraepelin’s accepted theory. Rather than eliminate the mentally ill or undesirables, though, as eventually occurred in Nazi Germany, the governing eugenicists both in the US and abroad chose, instead, to prevent the presumed degenerates from procreating:
Negative eugenics aimed at preventing the transmission of ‘unworthy’ genes. The most frequently adopted policy was the sterilization of women considered undesirable to produce offspring. Mentally ill and disabled persons were soon subjected to compulsory sterilization.
This policy was first adopted on a larger scale in a compulsory sterilization of congenitally deaf people following Graham Bell’s (1847–1922)—from 1912 to 1918 chairman of the board of scientific advisers to the Eugenics Record Office associated with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York—hereditary theory.
In the early 20th century, eugenics inspired laws and initiatives pursuing the compulsory sterilization of mentally ill and disabled individuals, and/or persons with hereditary diseases were enacted in 33 federal states of the United States—the legislation was upheld by the US Supreme Court in 1927—the Scandinavian countries, and Switzerland.
In Germany, ‘negative euthanasia’ was introduced in 1933 by Hitler’s ‘Law for the Prevention of Offspring with Hereditary Diseases,’ mainly based on the eugenic theories of Ernst Rüdin (1874–1954), director of the Genealogical-Demographic Department at the German Institute for Psychiatric Research in Munich—the forerunner of the Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry (emphasis added).
Other deviances from the social norms (such as homosexuality) were also viewed as mental illnesses until the 1960s and were regularly “treated” through sterilization and drugs which caused impotence. It is of no surprise, then, to learn that Margaret Sanger—the founder of Planned Parenthood and a staunch supporter of eugenics—said in 1921 in her published journal, the Birth Control Review: “The most urgent problem today is how to limit and discourage the over-fertility of the mentally and physically defective.”
She later insisted that in her political vision—much of which is in place today: “The first step would thus be to control the intake and output on morons, mental defectives, epileptics.” Today, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) states in the DSM-5 that any mindset, emotion, or behavior which causes impairment or distress in a persistent/ongoing way should be considered as a mental disorder. One Abnormal Psychology Textbook explains this widely accepted standard of abnormality or disorder within Kraepelinian thinking:
Another criterion for defining abnormality is personal discomfort. If people are content with their lives, then their lives are of no concern to the mental health establishment. If, on the other hand, they are distressed over their thoughts or behavior, then they require treatment.
But the textbook also notes another criterion for defining abnormality or degeneration: the “maladaptive standard.”
Here the question is whether the person, given that behavior pattern, is able to meet the demands of his or her life—hold down a job, deal with friends and family, pay the bills on time, and the like. If not, the pattern is abnormal . . . . the maladaptiveness standard is unique in that it concentrates on the practical matter of getting through life with some measure of success.
The maladaptiveness standard is also favored by many professionals for its elasticity: because it focuses on behavior relative to life circumstances, it can accommodate many different styles of living. But as with the personal-discomfort criterion, this liberalism is purchased at the cost of values.
If a mother is distressed over being pregnant and desires to eliminate her offspring or she cannot afford to take care of her child, then she can and should be viewed as mentally ill within Kraepelinian thinking.
In the first half of the twentieth century in America, Freudianism was the predominant secular view of the metaphysical mind/human nature until the Kraepelinian faith replaced Freudianism under the authority of the American Psychiatric Association (early 1960s). Today, Kraepelinianism (biopsychiatry) is the most widely accepted view of the soul/psyche in America.
In fact, the entire mental health system in the United States is considered “Neo-Kraepelinian.” But before the 1960s, Freudianism reigned, so Margaret Sanger struggled at first to convince people that abortion was both beneficial and medicinal according to her faith in Kraepelinianism, shared with her by her friend and Kraepelin’s student, Ernst Rüdin. As with Rüdin, Sanger regularly emphasized in publications that the unfit should not reproduce and that limiting births summed up the philosophy of eugenics:
These two words—birth control—sum up our whole philosophy… It means the release and cultivation of the better elements in our society, and the gradual suppression, elimination, and eventual extinction, of defective stocks—those human weeds which threaten the blooming of the finest flowers of American civilization.
The results of the intelligence tests, the menace of indiscriminate immigration, the fertility of the unfit, and the increasing burden upon the healthful and vigorous members of American society of the delinquent and dependent classes, together with the growing danger of the abnormal fecundity of the feeble-minded, all emphasize the necessity of clear-sightedness and courage in facing the problem, and throw new light on the possibilities of Birth Control as a practical and powerful weapon against national and racial decadence (emphasis added).
Abortion is not a woman’s control over her body or a protection of her reproductive rights. Instead, abortion is eugenicists’ control over society, touted under the guise of medicine, science, and human rights. Ironically, as Sanger’s statement implies, advocating for abortion while allegedly advocating for indiscriminate immigration does not make logical sense; these practices are counterintuitive within eugenics. Although, if a political group is killing off their future political supporters who might vote to uphold eugenic beliefs if they were permitted to live, then new compliant voters are necessary to sustain eugenics as an accepted policy.
While Kraepelinianism was not yet fully accepted in America in the first half of the twentieth century, Sanger did benefit from a large number of Americans who believed in the theory of eugenics without realizing its Galtonian, Kraepelin, and Nazi connections. For example, subjective genetic competitions were regularly held at state fairs across the US in order to determine what family had the best reproductive capabilities.
This appalling but common practice was so widespread that even the NAACP held its own eugenics competitions to determine which families were genetically superior. Awards were handed out, and social status was commonly based upon eugenics principles. Belief in eugenics was so prevalent in the US that the Carnegie Institute was said to have motived Hitler himself, and Rüdin both taught about eugenics and learned much about eugenics in America before implementing Kraepelin’s psychiatric theory and his own experiments in Germany. In an article published in the American Journal of Psychiatry in 1942, psychiatrist Foster Kennedy notes this reality.
Three things we may lay rough hands on, with little enough knowledge how to do it: man’s life now, his reproduction of himself, and his evolution, which is the way he is to go. There are indeed many feebleminded people not easily recognizable at first sight in the social world . . . . Were we to try to sterilize all the abnormal, I am sure that we would defeat the evolution of the higher life.
Kennedy later states,
If euthanasia is to become at some distant day an available procedure, enabling legislation will be required. The story of sterilization will doubtless be repeated on an extended scale. But legislation may be expected to follow only upon the spread and strength of public opinion, and the nucleus of that opinion should be the attitude of those most nearly concerned—the parents of the candidates for the contemplated procedure. It is in the evaluation and melioration of this parental attitude that the interest of the psychiatrist in the whole question must center.
As one article in the Journal of the History of Biology states, “There is now a clear consensus that American eugenics provided significant material and ideological support for the Germans.” Eugenics did not end after the war, though, and many states upheld sterilization laws well beyond WWII.
The sterilization of mentally retarded and ill persons continued in some parts of Scandinavia and Canada after the war, and sterilization remained part of social policy in Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia into the 1970s.
While the term eugenics was eventually discarded and seemingly denounced, eugenics had and still has a stronghold in many social theories and policies in America. Eugenics is now practiced under the heading of genetics (e.g., genetic theory of mental illness). The historian Edwin Black comments,
Only after the truth about Nazi extermination became known did the American eugenics movement fade. American eugenic institutions rushed to change their names from eugenics to genetics. With its new identity, the remnant eugenics movement reinvented itself and helped establish the modern, enlightened human genetic revolution. Although the rhetoric and the organizational names had changed, the laws and mindsets were left in place (emphasis added).
Harvard geneticist Richard Lewontin also discusses eugenics transformation:
Classical eugenics became transformed from a social program of general population improvement into a family program of providing genetic knowledge to individuals facing reproductive decisions. But the ideology of biological determinism on which eugenics was based has persisted and, as is made clear in Kevles’ excellent short history of the Genome Project in the Code of Codes, eugenics in the social sense has been revivified.
Although the nomenclature has changed, reproductive laws and the eugenic mindsets are still governing much of what is viewed to be altruistic medicine in the United States—especially when it comes to the widely accepted biomedical approach to mental illness and birth control.
It is important as well to understand not only that materialism is not just a necessary secular belief to sustain eugenic practices such as abortion, but also that it is vital in the attempt to deny the morality/spirituality of human nature and the reality of God. Highly respected Harvard geneticist, Richard Lewontin, supports this secular worldview:
It is not that the methods of and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence (presuppositional faith) to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counterintuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door (emphasis added).
To consider that human nature is both spiritual and material (dualism) is to invite the idea of God into consideration and to sideline scientism as the ultimate human authority. If God is considered, then it might lead to accepting that He is the Creator and that we are His designed creation.
If such a notion were understood, then the creatures should worship the Creator instead of themselves, and God’s Word and science should be understood as companion truths that when properly approached are never in conflict with each other. Furthermore, if it is accepted that humanity is created in God’s image and gifted life from the one who is life, then all people will become of equal value and all life cherished.
The belief that human nature is only material (“materialism”) is foundational to viewing abortion as a medical issue. This fact is why a woman’s body/her “reproductive right” is purported to be the central most feature in the abortion discussion. It is not a woman’s soul, it is not her emotions or mental/psychological anguish and guilt commonly reported after an abortion, it is not her baby’s life or body, and it is not the relationship that she engaged in that produced the baby that are important topics of consideration (other than when the very rare case of rape leads to pregnancy).
Instead, it is the physical material of the mother that is claimed to be of the highest value, and within Kraepelinianism, the soul is theoretically reduced to material explanations of the body. Margaret Sanger explains this materialism/reductionism in her own published journal, Birth Control Review:
Eugenists may remember that not many years ago this program for race regeneration was subjected to the cruel ridicule of stupidity and ignorance. Today Eugenics is suggested by the most diverse minds as the most adequate and thorough avenue to the solution of racial, political, and social problems. The most intransigent and daring teachers and scientists have lent their support to this great biological interpretation of the human race (emphasis added).
The “great biological interpretation of the human race” is the philosophy of materialism/reductionism that is widely believed today and sustains much of the horror occurring in the United States under the guise of science and medicine. If we are only material in nature, then only a woman’s body (especially her reproductive capabilities and rights) matters. This viewpoint is precisely what Margaret Sanger advocated:
Not until the parents of the world are thus given control over their reproductive faculties will it ever be possible not only to improve the quality of the generations of the future but to maintain civilization even at its present level. Only by self-control of this type, only by intelligent mastery of the procreative powers can the great mass of humanity be awakened to the great responsibility of parenthood.
Sanger was not speaking about having self-control in a sexual way. She was advocating that the central philosophy of eugenics be permitted: abortion/birth control. She later stated, “Eugenics without birth control seems to us a house builded (sic) upon the sands. It is at the mercy of the rising stream of the unfit.” She later wrote, “The campaign for Birth Control is not merely of eugenic value, but is practically identical in ideal with the final aim of Eugenics.”
Without sterilizations and abortions, eugenics has very little alternative practical application, but conversely, without holding to eugenics (including materialism and degenerationism), abortion makes no logical sense. When a “woman’s reproductive rights” are trumpeted as the highest moral value, one can be assured that the eugenics theory and materialism have also been accepted whether the advocate realizes it or not. To accept abortion as both a medical issue and a woman’s rights issue means that at some level, faith in Emil Kraepelin’s, Ernst Rüdin’s, and Margaret Sanger’s eugenics/mental health paradigm has been accepted.
In its current brochure, Planned Parenthood exposes that self-control in sexual relationships is not up for discussion since sexual pleasure is of the utmost importance within Sanger’s eugenics system. Planned Parenthood lists four principles that Sanger allegedly established:
In truth, however, the Bible establishes that men and women should learn to control their bodies (1 Thessalonians 4), that all children (and every person) should be loved and valued (Matthew 19:14; 22:36-40), and that women are entitled to sexual pleasure and fulfillment within the covenant of marriage (e.g., Song of Solomon; 1 Corinthians 7).
Sanger’s alleged achievements were not moral principles that she established, and her assertion that every person should get to decide when and if he/she conceives is not possible. People have the protected right to choose when they engage in sexual intimacy (which is why molestations and rapes are so horrific), but they do not get to choose if they conceive or if they have a baby or not. Many couples desire to have children, for example, but they are unable to procreate. Others do not intend to get pregnant, but they do. Both logically and biblically, the choice to have children is not the decision of every person.
Ironically, when a woman of class desires to be married, she wants her future husband to appreciate who she is and not merely her physical appearance/body. But when it comes to having babies, the same rules cannot apply, or the true moral nature of abortion is exposed. Females (and males) are more than physical objects, and this reality denounces the false philosophy of materialism necessary to sustain eugenics, the Kraepelinian model, and abortion.
While the belief in materialism is foundational to abortion, to evolution, and to the current model of mental illness, materialism/scientism poses a tremendous problem for pro-abortion supporters. Materialism (and eugenics) demands that when the unique genetic code of each individual and his/her forty-six chromosomes are present (even if some are defective or duplicated), then that material constitutes a person.
However, there can be no logical argument made within materialistic thinking that a lump of material becomes human or becomes valuable at any point without admitting that human nature is more than material. The metaphysical soul or spiritual nature of a person cannot be considered within the reductionistic view, but to suggest that human life begins at all (inside or outside the womb) is to both dismiss materialism as a false belief and to expose that people are more than merely material blobs that have evolved in nature.
Furthermore, to theorize or discuss the beginning of life beyond the conception of an embryo (“fetal tissue”) is to open the door for the consideration of a divine being in whose image we are created and to acknowledge the spiritual/moral nature of humanity. In other words, to admit that there is fetal tissue within a materialistic/evolutionary worldview is to admit that there is life, and to argue that life begins any time after conception is to denounce materialism and accept dualism. Either way one chooses to believe and to describe pregnancy, all “tissue” or “life” in the womb—however it is called—must logically be considered valuable.
But most people who are pro-abortion do admit that life begins and has value at some point in time. If this were not the case, then murder could not exist as a judicial matter, and neither could human rights. No one who supports abortion could logically argue for the humane treatment of illegal immigrants at the border, for example, if humanity is not alive, has moral value, and is distinct from an imported car or a clay pot, for instance.
The point in time at which life occurs or begins to have value might be at conception, it might be at three months gestation, it might be during the third trimester, it may be when the child is born, or it may be allegedly at the age of accountability. Nonetheless, everyone who appreciates and values human life in one way or another is contradicting the false philosophy that we are merely material products of evolution, as he/she acknowledges that life begins to have moral value at some point.
Recognizing life to be of moral value, though, acknowledges that there must be morality. Thus, to argue for human rights demands that one first accepts human value, and such a traditional position automatically dismisses materialism/reductionism, embraces morality, and, furthermore, demands that the vulnerable, innocent, and weak be helped and defended—not eliminated. Dr. Stephen McCurdy explains,
Traditional public health values—support for vulnerable populations and opposition to politicization of science—and the principle of reciprocity (“the Golden Rule”) weigh against abortion. Were aborted lives counted as are other human lives, induced abortion would be acknowledged as the largest single preventable cause of loss of human life.
According to human rights advocates, “degenerates”—if such a distinctive were actually real—should be loved and protected rather than killed. One must either choose between accepting eugenics or accepting human rights because these positions are antithetical. Simply stated, a person cannot truly be a materialist and at the same time argue for human rights, for believing in the elimination of life because it is not desired, is defective, or causes distress determines that eugenics and not human rights/public health has been chosen as the guiding presuppositional belief.
What all pro-abortionists have come to agree upon in order to sustain their belief in eugenics, however, is that life/human value does not occur at conception. Some will argue that life and its value begin later than conception, but no abortionist would dare admit that life begins in the womb. Herein lies another empirical conundrum for abortionists: no empirical evidence exists to support such a position or to counter the clear scientific research that shows how life begins at conception. Again, though, to discuss when life allegedly begins or starts to have value is to express the realities that human nature is far more than merely its biological existence and to admit that human nature is moral.
While the topic of when life begins is controversial among pro-abortionists, most have accepted the scientific reality of when life ends. To admit that life ends at all is also to admit that it began at some point in time. Logically, we understand that when death occurs, the physical matter remains while the spiritual person (life) has departed from the body. If we are merely physical in nature, then death cannot exist as long as there still remains physical material. But very few people desire to keep rotting flesh in their house when a person’s spirit has departed from his/her temporal body. Death can only be explained in accordance with the spiritual reality of human nature (Genesis 3; Romans 6:23) and the fact that humanity has been gifted life.
If a person argues that a heartbeat and breaths of air determine when life begins and ends, then life begins in the womb when a mother’s lungs and heart begin to supply everything the baby needs to live inside her. If one argues that life is present only when the baby’s heart and lungs are functioning on their own, then following this logic, people who need pacemakers, who are placed on breathing apparatuses, or who need a heart transplant are not actually living. The fact that a baby is dependent upon his/her mother’s body to sustain life is not proof that life is not present in the womb, just as it is not outside the womb where a baby is still fully dependent upon his/her mother.
Additionally, if human nature is only defined in the terms and framework of materialism, then the biomedical evidence determines life to begin at conception. Twenty-three chromosomes from the father and twenty-three chromosomes from the mother come together in the forming of a unique “zygote” to create the forty-six chromosomes recognized scientifically to be a biological human being.
The American Pregnancy Association explains: “If conception takes place, the sperm penetrates an egg and creates a single set of forty-six chromosomes called a zygote, which is the basis for a new human being (emphasis added).” One textbook of human embryology states the same scientific reality:
Human development begins at fertilization when a sperm unites with an oocyte to form a single cell, the zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell (capable of giving rise to any cell type) marks the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.
The zygote is genetically unique because half of its chromosomes came from the mother and half from the father. The zygote contains a new combination of chromosomes that is different from those in the cells of either of the parents. This mechanism forms the basis of biparental inheritance and variation of the human species (emphasis added).
When an egg and sperm come together at the moment of conception, this unique phenomenon creates a new life; it is an occurrence that is both repeatable and observable.
If a person truly believes in evolution, then material producing new material recognized to be a complex human being should be the most celebrated and sanctified occasion within evolutionary thinking. If what occurs in a mother’s womb took place on Mars, there would be billions of dollars spent to protect the lump of material that would most likely be bannered as evidence for evolution.
Whoever truly believes in evolution would desire to advance its cause by even sacrificing his/her own rights and dreams for the good of the human race—what is often referred to as love. But love does not make logical sense if human nature is only material and without a soul or morality, which is why a person’s individual rights and not love for humanity and others is bannered by pro-abortionists. The principle that Margaret Sanger allegedly established (“every child should be wanted and loved” ) cannot logically be accepted if eugenics is adhered to.
In fact, why love at all if we are only material particles who are allegedly evolving. Why not simply look out for one’s own self and ensure survival? Love does not make logical sense within eugenics (and degenerationism), within evolutionary theory, within Kraepelinianism, and according to materialistic principles—a point that Fredrich Nietzsche himself argued in his writings.
Instead, what does make sense behind the killing of babies for one’s own rights and desires and the advancement of the perceived best material is the horrific theory of eugenics in which Planned Parenthood, the Holocaust, and the current mental health paradigm in the United States were all birthed. One only needs to observe which ethnic groups of women in America Margaret Sanger targeted for abortions and desired to eliminate. Sanger wrote this to one of her eugenics advocates:
There is only one thing that I would like to be in touch with, and that is the Negro Projects of the South . . . . We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.
Today, the “Negro Project” is in full effect in the United States, and the eugenics movement that Sanger started and planned is alive and well in America and in much of the world. The American Psychological Association reports on its website:
Access to safe and legal abortion is central to attaining social equality for women. Laws restricting access to safe, legal abortion will be particularly harmful to low-income women, women of color, and sexual and gender minorities, as well as those who live in rural or medically underserved areas. As noted by the Black Women’s Health Imperative, “Black women continue to struggle to afford birth control that best meets their needs, the lack of which leads to higher rates of unintended pregnancies.”
As a result, Black women have significantly higher abortion rates than whites and Hispanics. Moreover, those who are unable to access abortion care are more likely to be thrown into persistent poverty. These bills will further reduce Black women’s access to contextually appropriate and effective sexual health information A woman’s ability to control when and if she has a child is frequently linked to her socioeconomic standing and earning power. Research indicates that women living in poverty, low-income women and women of color are more likely than others to experience cumulative adversity and are at increased risk for unintended pregnancy (emphasis added).
The consideration of a person’s social value and his/her “health” based upon economic status/burden was a fundamental tenet to Nazi eugenics. Psychiatrists E. Fuller Torrey and Robert Yolken explain:
The idea of killing the patients in psychiatric hospitals first surfaced prominently in 1920 in a publication by Karl Binding, a lawyer, and Alfred Hoche, a psychiatrist. Entitled Permission for the Destruction of Life Unworthy of Life, the tract posed the question: “Is there human life which has so far forfeited the character of something entitled to enjoy the protection of the law, that its prolongation represents a perpetual loss of value, both for its bearer and for society as a whole?
The authors’ answer was clearly affirmative and described such individuals as being ‘mentally dead’ and ‘on an intellectual level which we only encounter way down in the animal kingdom.’ The authors emphasized the economic burden of such individuals to Germany (emphasis added).
Moreover, one must contemplate why leading political figures would ever make statements praising both Sanger’s work, political plan, or eugenics vision. Yet, many liberal politicians openly admit their appreciation and identification with Sanger. Hillary Clinton—then secretary of state—said this upon winning the Margaret Sanger Award from Planned Parenthood in 2009:
Now, I have to tell you that it was a great privilege when I was told that I would receive this award. I admire Margaret Sanger enormously, her courage, her tenacity, her vision . . . And when I think about what she did all those years ago in Brooklyn, taking on archetypes, taking on attitudes and accusations flowing from all directions, I am really in awe of her. . . . Margaret Sanger’s work here in the United States and certainly across our globe is not done (emphasis added).
If only materialism is held to argue the sanctity of life, then all fetal matter that results from the meeting of an egg and sperm is of the highest value and should not be discarded. Unless that is, a person believes that a mother who desires to kill her own offspring—according to materialism—is mentally ill or that a certain group of people should be limited in their reproduction because of their degenerative qualities or economic status/potential.
Then, abortion becomes a health issue as Rüdin and Sanger first intended it to be within the eugenics framework they created. If, however, God’s holiness, sovereignty, and goodness are understood to be foundational to life and procreation, then the sanctity of life is based upon His Word, His sovereignty, His goodness, and His authority. Maybe this reality is precisely why one scientist, although ambivalent, stated in Scientific American,
Admittedly, deeply divisive moral issues are involved. Abortion does end a human life, so it should not be done without grave consideration for what is at stake (emphasis added), as we do with capital punishment and war. Likewise, the recognition of equal rights, especially reproductive rights, should be acknowledged by all liberty-loving people.
Whether you are a materialist or a dualist, whether you believe that God created us in His image and life is valuable, or you believe that we are merely evolved particles floating through time and space with the only purpose being to advance evolution, and whether you see life as more important than one’s convenience and alleged rights or you wish to advance evolution, one thing is sure: all life should be regarded as incredibly valuable.
To deny this foundational reality of human nature is insanity—no matter your presuppositional faith. However abortion might be spun, whichever scientific facts are rejected, and whatever false beliefs might be created to sustain the practice of abortion, it is delusional to continue insisting that life/material in the womb is not of incredible value and that abortion does not end a precious life. It is the time that those who practice abortion admit that they have placed their faith in the eugenics theory of Kraepelin, Rüdin, and Sanger.
Dr. Daniel R. Berger II is the founder and director of Alethia International Ministries (AIM), where he continues to write and to speak around the country in various churches, organizations, medical communities, and at various counseling and teacher’s conferences. He is also an experienced pastor, counselor, school administrator, and the author of ten books on Biblical counseling, practical theology, education, and the history and philosophy of the current mental health construct. Daniel earned his B.S. in counseling, an M.S. in counseling/ psychology, an M.A. in pastoral studies, and a doctorate in pastoral theology. Daniel is also an adjunct professor at several Universities and seminaries-including serving as the director of a post-grad degree at SEBI (Brasilia, Brazil) in Biblical Counseling, which is specifically focused on understanding the various aspects of the construct of mental illness from a biblical worldview.