The Supreme Court on Tuesday morning ruled to overturn the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that struck down an Indiana law that required abortion facilities to bury or cremate the remains of the unborn after an abortion. They declined to review the challenge to Indiana law blocking abortions based on sex, race, or disability, allowing that ruling to stand.
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a lengthy concurring opinion where he emphasized that the Supreme Court would eventually need to rule on bans such as Indiana’s.
“The use of abortion to achieve eugenic goals is not merely hypothetical. The foundations for legalizing abortion in America were laid during the early 20th-century birth control movement. That movement developed alongside the American eugenics movement. And significantly, Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger recognized the eugenic potential of her cause,” Thomas wrote.
“Whereas Sanger believed that birth control could prevent ‘unfit’ people from reproducing, abortion can prevent them from being born in the first place. Many eugenicists supported legalizing abortion, and abortion advocates—including future Planned Parenthood President Alan Guttmacher— endorsed the use of abortion for eugenic reasons. Technological advances have only heightened the eugenic potential for abortion, as abortion can now be used to eliminate children with unwanted characteristics, such as particular sex or disability,” he noted.
“Given the potential for abortion to become a tool of eugenic manipulation, the Court will soon need to confront the constitutionality of laws like Indiana’s,” he added.
“Enshrining a constitutional right to an abortion based solely on the race, sex, or disability of an unborn child, as Planned Parenthood advocates, would constitutionalize the views of the 20th-century eugenics movement,” Thomas said.
Thomas joined the court not taking up a review at this time saying further “percolation” in the lower courts may assist in the Supreme Court’s review.
Photo Credit: Sunira Moses (CC-By-SA 3.0)