There the science of eugenics. The Eugenics
There are 7 billion people living on this earth. If the average person were to have sex once a week for half of his/her lifetime, that would mean that the average number of people having sexual intercourse each week is 3.5 billion. Sexual intercourse is how most come into this world and it’s how we further humanity’s existence but why is it that reproductive rights was once a issue that students do not know about? In “Racism, Birth Control, and Reproductive Rights”, Angela Davis directs her readers to acknowledge crucial points in women’s reproductive rights. She investigated the abuse on sterilization that affected people of color in the 19th century. To enhance Davis’ data, I’d like to look further into the grim impact the Eugenics Society had its citizens from the 19th century, why it is important to know today, my stance on the argument, and a rebuttal to my standpoint. Within her article, Davis presents her disagreement with the science of eugenics. The Eugenics Society strives to improve the human race but their solution to develop more favorable human beings is heinously horrific. Davis addresses the shocking laws that were passed to discriminate those who were deemed unsuitable to reproduce. Colored women subjected themselves to abortions in an act of “desperation” for their young to avoid a life of slavery (Davis, 205). People of color were free from their chains until 1865 but were continued to be seen as lower class individuals as they were not permitted to birth control even when their lives were in danger or were of low-income families. White women, however, found that the birth control movement allowed them to explore higher goals for themselves. The media claimed that participating in the movement gave them the ability to having a career and given better wages. The birth rate caused the U.S. to slip into a decrease in white birth rate. Due to the decline, Roosevelt’s solution to the race suicide was to enforce “population control” on women of color and women of lower class which was to make them infertile. He stated that black women had a “moral obligation to restrict the size of their families” (Davis, 210). Clinics neglected to tell patients that they’d become barren and would never be able to reproduce. In agreement to Davis’ beliefs of the feminist inequality, I believe that this part in history should be known to the public. I spoke to several others and they did not know of the activities that Eugenics proceeded to do. The struggles that women went through was real and unjustifiable but no one seems to know about them. The unwanted sterilization impacted Americans greatly and it’s important for the coming generations to know the mistakes that were made in the past and to avoid them for future reference. That being said, knowing about the complete history of the birth control movement and the reproductive rights matters today as it is still a problem in the U.S. Reported by Bill Chappell from his article, California’s Prison Sterilizations Reportedly Echo Eugenics Era, 148 inmates were given unwarranted tubal ligation surgeries which is a permanent birth control procedure in the years 2006 to 2010. The women were pressured and placed “under sedation and strapped to an operating table”. Kimberly Jeffrey who is a former inmate, stated that she felt “less than human” when the procedure was conducted. An objection to the government doing anything wrong to its people, is that “society has no business to permit degenerates to reproduce their kind” as said by President Roosevelt in his letter to Charles Davenport of the Eugenics Record Office found in Heather Ramsay’s article, 10 Widely Admired People Who Supported Eugenics on List Verse. Having a ‘weak’ quality that is considered undesirable should not be shamed. Even if it was to ‘improve’ the community, getting rid of those who you think is not physically efficient enough is wrong. A person has the right to decide if and when they’d have children but no one has the right to take a right from another. It is the better option to allow everyone the chance to reproduce; no matter the gender, race, and social structure position that reside in. Unique individuals are created and some may change the world. Taking away a person’s chance to produce a child is essentially murder without a valid excuse. I learned a lot about how corrupt the world can be and how oblivious people are to it all. Before reading Angela Davis’ article on the reproductive rights, I wasn’t educated on any of this. I’m horrified to how there are members in this society that do not mind executing the ones who they believe to be beneath them. To me, the “population control” was genocide. The article, A Visualized History of Racism and Reproductive Rights in America that was produced by the The Intersectional Analyst website, states that the Negro Project’s goal was to “exterminate the Negro population”. The Eugenics Society deliberately caused harm to women of lower class and of different race. I can not provide a conscientious thought as why a person would want to do this to an entire social group. Coerced sterilization has been a part of America’s history since the 1900s and is still occurring today in the early 2000s. Angela Davis points out major issues about how corrupt the government is and how the reproductive rights were unfair to those of lower income, of color, and those with mental illness. Work CiteDavis, Angela. “Racism, Birth Control and Reproductive Rights” PDF. Published 1981. Accessed October 2017 to December 2017. Echegaray, Nicole. “Analysis: Racism, Birth Control and Reproductive Rights” October 2017.No Name. “A Visualized History of Racism and Reproductive Rights in America” “Intersectional Analyst”. 5 February 2016.Chappell, Bill. “California’s Prison Sterilizations Reportedly Echo Eugenics Era” “The National Public Radio”. 9 July 2013.Ramsay, Heather. “10 Widely Admired People Who Supported Eugenics” “List Verse”. 10 July 2015.