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A vicious tradition of eugenics

Does the government really believe it’s better to be dead than poor?


Margaret Sanger testifies before a Senate Committee in Washington, D.C. on March 1, 1934. Associated Press Photo

A vicious tradition of eugenics
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When confronted with the cold, hard truth of the harms of chemical abortion drugs for women and girls, our federal government responded by lamenting that fewer abortions will increase the population of people of color and the poor.

Twenty-three years ago, the Food and Drug Administration illegally approved the use of chemical abortion drugs mifepristone and misoprostol, characterizing pregnancy as an “illness” and arguing that these drugs provide a “meaningful therapeutic benefit.” The reality couldn’t be more different.

The FDA never studied the safety of the drugs under the labeled conditions of use, ignored the potential impacts of the hormone-blocking regimen on the developing bodies of adolescent girls, disregarded the substantial evidence that chemical abortion drugs cause more complications than surgical abortions, and eliminated necessary safeguards for pregnant women and girls who undergo this dangerous drug regimen. All of this, of course, was in addition to approving a drug as “therapeutic” when its whole purpose is to take the life of an innocent child.

Since the FDA failed to abide by its legal obligations to protect the health, safety, and welfare of women, Alliance Defending Freedom sued them. We filed the first lawsuit of its kind holding the FDA accountable for its reckless endangerment of women and girls and soon, we’ll be arguing before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, urging it to protect women and girls and to halt the FDA’s illegal mail-order abortion regime.

But instead of owning up to the glaring failure of the FDA to meet the minimum safety requirements required by the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act before peddling a drug that poses such risk to women and girls, the federal government provided a stunning response.

It is difficult to deny the similarities between Sanger’s white supremacist remarks and what we see today from federal government officials.

In reply to our lawsuit, the FDA defended its actions on chemical abortion by offering the testimony of Jason Lindo, held out as an expert in the economics of so-called “reproductive health care.” He writes that “rigorous quantitative research” shows that children who come into this world because their mothers can’t obtain an abortion “are expected to do worse in school,” and “they are also expected to have lower earnings as adults, poorer health, and an increased likelihood of criminal involvement.”

This affidavit—included by the Biden administration in its defense of chemical abortion—further trumpets chemical abortion because it will reduce taxes by lowering the need for social safety net programs. The affidavit states that “those with limited economic resources” and “women of color” will “disproportionately” be affected by a reduction in chemical abortions. And he laments as one of the costs of reduced chemical abortions “increased taxes due to increased reliance on public assistance and social safety net programs.”

This sounds eerily familiar. Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion profiteer in the world, unabashedly advocated for using eugenics to reduce certain populations—people of color and the poor. Planned Parenthood has been trying to distance itself from Sanger’s racist and horrific comments, but the Biden administration sees abortion as a way to reduce costs by eliminating children who might enter the world in less prosperous circumstances. It is difficult to deny the similarities between Sanger’s white supremacist remarks and what we see today from federal government officials.

It is unconscionable to justify ending the life of an innocent child because the child might struggle financially, may impose costs on taxpayers, could grow up to be a criminal, or may possibly score low on a test someday. There is no slipperier slope to walk down than determining whether someone deserves to live based on an economic quantification of the costs they will impose and benefits they will confer on society. As Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas wrote, “Abortion has proved to be a disturbingly effective tool for implementing the discriminatory preferences that undergird eugenics.”

Now, in this post-Roe era of our nation, more than ever before, our policies and laws must reflect that life is a human right. We must reject the lie that any person deserves to live only if he or she can contribute in a particular way to society or will not impose costs on others. Every woman, regardless of her situation in life, deserves true support and real health care, not a chemical drug to swallow that will end her child’s life and put her own safety at risk. And every pregnant mother deserves dignity, respect, and empowerment to help her be the best mother to her children, no matter her income, education level, or race.


Erin Hawley

Erin Hawley is a wife, mom of three, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, and a law professor at Regent University School of Law.


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