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We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness (The Declaration of Independence). These words, written over two hundred years ago, became the very foundation of what the United States of America stands for. Yet in the past hundred years, millions of American citizens have been denied the rights and truths encompassed in this statement.

Legalized abortion has defied the unalienable right to Life and allowed the most marginalized and voiceless group in America to be slaughtered in the womb. Yet this injustice did not begin with denying Life. It began when we embraced the ideals of eugenics and rejected the first truth, that all men are created equal. Only by exposing the roots of legalized abortion in a legacy of eugenics can America have a full understanding of the injustice in this nation.

Eugenics is a science concerned with improving the human species, by such means as influencing or encouraging reproduction by persons presumed to have desirable genetic traits (Hunt, Abortion and Eugenics). This idea of creating a better race is not a new concept. Though eugenics was not a word then, Plato theorized that an elite human race could be conceived if animal breeding tactics were applied to humans (Cavanaugh-O’Keefe, The Roots Chapter One).

Like the eugenicists that would come after him, he rejected the Biblical principle that every man is predestined by God, called for a certain purpose, and created in the perfect image of God. Jeremiah 1:5 says, Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Plato could not control what man became through breeding techniques, for it is God who creates man.

Despite its faulty foundation, the theory survived through the years. It was finally labeled “eugenics” by Sir Francis Galton in the late nineteenth century. He created the word from two Greek words. The first part, eu (eu), means good. John Cavanaugh-O’Keefe points out that many words with the eu- prefix make a terrible thing appear good, with examples such as eulogy, euphemism, and euthanasia. The second part of the word comes from the Greek word gen (gen). Gen denotes birth or race (Cavanaugh-O’Keefe, The Roots Chapter One).

In one of his addresses, Galton explained that after studying plant and animal methods, he was convinced that traits were hereditary, good and bad alike. Therefore, it is possible to breed people to eliminate the “undesirables” and to multiply the “desirables” (Galton). However, all Galton had was theory based on observation.’

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