Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Genocide and Roe v Wade

Today is the 42nd anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v Wade.

The accusation is sometimes made that abortion is a form of genocide, especially aimed at the African American population. The Rev. Dr. Clenard H Childress Jr.'s Black Genocide web site is a leading example. A summery of his key arguments is is here.  It is pointed out deaths caused by abortion in the African American population is proportionally several times that in the white population, and it is claimed that this is the result of a deliberate policy and not just the result of a "pattern and pratice" or coincidence.


 The July 7, 2009 edition of the New York Times carried an interview on The Place of Women on the Court with Justice of the United States Ruth Bader Ginsburg  which provides a good place to start..

  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 don’t know why this hasn’t 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 don’t 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 didn’t 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. Emphsis is mine.

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 N. B. To be fair to Justice Ginsburg (who was not on the court when the case was decided) it is not clear whether she is saying that she herself supported using the combination of Medicaid and abortion to reduce “populations we do not want to many of.” Clearly her stated opinion now is that abortion should only be an individual choice for a woman.
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 But it is also clear testimony from a reliable source that there was significant approval in some political and judicial circles for deliberately using abortion and Medicaid to harm populations “we do not want to many of“. Nor does she seem upset, that instead of protecting groups that some how meet the disapproval of the upper echelons of society the US government and especially the Supreme Court should help harm them. One can't help but wonder how she would handle an a certiorari petition from a member of group "we do want to many of."

 The strong emphasis by the current administration that abortion and contraception benefits be included in the "Affordable Health Care Act" (Obamcare) at no cost to women seems to be a resurrection of the concept; this time combing Abortion and Obamacare to reduce populations "we do not want too many of"

Who are these groups "we do not want to many of." Justice Ginsburg does not seem to have identified them. Given the history of race relations in the United States it is not surprising that many people feel that she was using “a code word” for African Americans among others.   "Reducing populations we do not want to many of" seems like an understated description of the the Holocaust, Gulag, Cambodia's killing fields and the Rwandan genocide. Some of the more polemical comments would put her in the figurative ranks of the KKK and the SS, though as I noted she does not seem to have commented on whether or not she approves.


 African Americans are a group that is protected under the CONVENTION ON THE PREVENTION AND PUNISHMENT OF THE CRIME OF GENOCIDE, ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE UNITED NATIONS ON 9 DECEMBER 1948 and Ratified by the Senate on 25/11/1988 to take effect 23/02/1989 Of course Roe v Wade was decided before the US adopted the Convention, But people had been tried and convicted for Genocide before the convention was approved by the UN and the implementation of Roe v Wade is continuing..

 Let's look at what the convention says:

[G]enocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such :

 a) Killing members of the group;

 . . .

 (f) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

By the Convention Abortion per se is not genocide, but it can used a a means to kill members of a protected group and/or prevent births in a protected group; which would be genocide.  At the very least "imposing measures intended to prevent births" sounds similar to what Justice Ginsburg was saying about reducing populations "we do not want to many of."

The key legal phrase in the Convention's definition is "intent to destroy, in whole or in part,"  One of the motivations for the action must be "intent to destroy, in whole or in part." The same action taken without this motivation may be legal or illegal on other grounds, but it is not the crime of Genocide.

 Justice Ginsburg provides us with a reasonable suspicion,  from a reliable source, that Roe v Wade was intended to and is being used to commit genocide.  The question comes down to what are the targeted groups and what are the motivations of the key players. The proponents of abortion and Roe v Wade have always been careful to publicly state other motivations. As noted Justice Ginsburg  states
 that her only motivation is the protection of women's rights.

Are there other publicly unstated illegal motivations?

 A discovery or Grand Jury process would certainly be interesting, if some official had the political courage to start one.

Abortion posts :

Cause Not Harm
Roe vs. Wade - Choice
When Oh Lord When
Criss Cross: Democrats Republicans and Abortion
Jenny Change Your Mind
Roe v Wade is absurd


Related Posts

Death by Government
Never Again and Again and Again
Rwanda and Darfur Compared

More information.

UN Convention on Genocide
What is Genocide

R J Rummel's Power Kills site
Genocide Watch

My Genocide posts


Crisis Pregnancy Resources

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