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Catholic Medical Quarterly Volume 62(2) May 2012, 24-30

The background and consequences of the reproductive revolution

Dr JA Laing


By the mid-1960s the sexual revolution was in full swing. The persuasive rhythms of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones urged new personal freedoms, Carl Djerassi’s Pill was introduced to widespread acclaim, and feminists were setting their underwear ablaze. Most Christian denominations had long ago overturned their previous teaching on contraception. John Calvin, had at one time, called the act "condemned" and "doubly monstrous", while John Wesley had said contraception was "very displeasing to God", and the "evidence of vile affections." Those who used them he regarded as "logs", "stock" and "swine". But most Protestants had by now abandoned this instruction. Indeed, the Church of England had as far back as 1930 up-ended its once entrenched rejection of contraception as “demoralizing to character and hostile to national welfare.” Into this unlikely and tempting climate came the explosive Humanae Vitae. The Roman Catholic Church, alone among religions, publicly reaffirmed its traditional teaching prohibiting contraception. The encyclical warned of the need to maintain the connection between sex and babies – and this, despite the Rockefeller offer of cash for favourable encyclicals in the summer of ’65. Pope Paul VI warned that contraception would lead to promiscuity, loss of respect for life, marriage and the family, and breakdown of essential social structures. I want to suggest that there is reason to think this fear for the likely effects of separating sex from babies well founded.

Part I. The intellectual background to the reproductive revolution

Before proceeding, there should be some reference to the socio-political background to Humanae Vitae. Population control and eugenics are well established features of the West in the twentieth century. It is impossible to appreciate the forces lined up against human life, marriage, the family and religion without understanding something of the related ideologies of liberalism, eugenics, and population control. Some of these ideologies fell out of favour after the atrocities of the Second World War became known but they have not disappeared. On the contrary, they are the bedrock upon which societies in the West are now built. Working in conjunction with new industries and organisations, the operation of these forces highlights a deepening crisis in the West that persists, for the most part, unappreciated and unchallenged. The technological advances that undoubtedly exist in modern society merely shroud a much deeper malaise that affects her basic institutions in momentous ways.

A. The history of eugenics

A satisfactory account of eugenics would involve a comprehensive discussion of Thomas Malthus, Francis Galton, Charles Darwin, Margaret Sanger and the ideas of early members of the Eugenics Society. Galton defined it thus:

"Eugenics is the study of agencies under social control that may improve or impair the racial qualities of future generations, whether physically or mentally."

Among the enigmas of the history of ideas is the question of how it is that so many of our Western intellectual elite, commonly thought to be the respectable face of liberalism and progressive ideology, actually sport ideas that are quite inhumane and challenge, in fundamental ways, both Christianity and the principle that all people have an inherent dignity. The novelist H. G. Wells, for example, was a renowned eugenicist and worked with his mentor T. H. Huxley to promote a version of social Darwinism. He argued that:

“I believe that now and always the conscious selection of the best for reproduction will be impossible; that to propose it is to display a fundamental misunderstanding of what individuality implies. The way of nature has always been to slay the hindmost, and there is still no other way, unless we can prevent those who would become the hindmost being born. It is in the sterilization of failure, and not in the selection of successes for breeding, that the possibility of an improvement of the human stock lies.”

Intentional killing, sterilization and birth control were, in Wells’ view, a sound way to eliminate what he regarded inferior peoples. He, along with his fellow eugenicists, believed that evolution, operating on its own, was not effective. In his Anticipations of the Reactions of Mechanical and Scientific Progress Upon Human Life and Thought he dreams of a New Republic freed of the weak, unfit and unproductive and as well as a great number of “blacks, browns, dirty whites and yellow people.” Society needed to be controlled and manipulated by a progressive elite. For this reason, he sought to establish eugenic programs. The goal was death to be achieved by opiate induced mercy killings, and it was expected that the men of the New Republic would have “no pity and less benevolence …” about inflicting death on the unfit, because those who kill the weak will have a “fuller sense of the possibilities of life than we possess.”

Thus, his list of those who would not be permitted to propagate, as well as those who would likely be euthanized when they rebelled, included those with transmissible diseases, mental disorders and alcoholism:

“[T]he men of the New Republic will hold that the procreation of children who, by the circumstances of their parentage, must be diseased bodily or mentally .... that a certain portion of the population ... afflicted with indisputably transmissible diseases, with transmissible mental disorders, with such hideous incurable habits of mind as the craving for intoxication exists only on sufferance, out of pity and patience, and on the understanding that they do not propagate; and I do not foresee any reason to suppose that they will hesitate to kill when that sufferance is abused. And I imagine also the plea and proof that a grave criminal is also insane will be regarded by them not as a reason for mercy, but as an added reason for death. I do not see how they can think otherwise on the principles they will profess.”

The men of the New Republic are not delicate. They would not hesitate to kill these unfit:

“The men of the New Republic will not be squeamish, either, in facing or inflicting death, because they will have a fuller sense of the possibilities of life than we possess. They will have an ideal that will make killing worth the while; ... They will naturally regard the modest suicide of incurably melancholy, or diseased or helpless persons as a high and courageous act of duty rather than a crime.”

Wells’ vision is clinical, hygienic and detached. His killings are humane:

“All such killing will be done with an opiate, for death is too grave a thing to be made painful or dreadful, and used as a deterrent from crime. If deterrent punishments are used at all in the code of the future the deterrent will neither be death, nor mutilation of the body, nor mutilation of the life by imprisonment, nor any horrible things like that, but good scientifically caused pain, that will leave nothing but a memory.”

As with most attempts to give a definition of what sort of person is to be regarded as “fit” for the purposes of eugenics, Wells’ version simply degenerates into another form of discrimination. After an offensive account of the Jews, he concludes that “those swarms of blacks, and brown, and dirty-white, and yellow people will have to go”:

“And for the rest, those swarms of black, and brown, and dirty-white, and yellow people, who do not come into the new needs of efficiency? Well, the world is a world, not a charitable institution, and I take it they will have to go. The whole tenor and meaning of the world, as I see it, is that they have to go. So far as they fail to develop sane, vigorous, and distinctive personalities for the great world of the future, it is their portion to die out and disappear.”

It is important to bear in mind that Wells was not alone in his belief that an intellectual elite should be used to usher in a new world freed from disability, disease and a great deal more. His discussion with Joseph Stalin about the good society was published with comments by George Bernard Shaw, John Maynard Keynes and others. In his discussion with Stalin on how best to achieve the scientific re-organization of society, Wells argues that a liberal technocratic elite should be thus engaged:

“Now there is a superabundance of technical intellectuals, and their mentality has changed very sharply. The skilled man, who would formerly never listen to revolutionary talk, is now greatly interested in it. Recently I was dining with the Royal Society, our great English scientific society. The President's speech was a speech for social planning and scientific control. To-day, the man at the head of the Royal Society holds revolutionary views, and insists on the scientific re-organisation of human society.”

An avowed atheist, Wells rejected Christianity as promoting anti-progressive social and sexual mores. His affair with the eugenicist and founder of International Planned Parenthood Foundation (IPPF), Margaret Sanger, highlights the emerging intellectual consensus on the kinds of social agencies he and other eugenicists had in mind for relieving society of its most ‘defective’ elements.

IPPF, a longtime bastion of modern population control and eugenics, is most famous for using its considerable finances to promote and facilitate internationally, sterilization, abortion, contraception and also infanticide (particularly in China). It is funded to the tune of billions of dollars by the US, the UK and other Western governments. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is also a key contributor. The organization and its associated ideology is thrives. There are, therefore, major contemporary interests in defending Sanger’s honor. A cursory examination reveals a founder whose views challenge the notion that every one of us has inherent dignity whatever our race, class, color, creed, ability or disability.

In her Pivot of Civilization, Sanger outlines a vision of the world that regards certain people as “morons, imbeciles and borderline cases” , “defectives, delinquents and dependents,” “biological waste” whose accumulation is cause for social concern. The verbal invective might be regarded good fun, a lively example of intellectual exchange between academic colleagues, were it not also accompanied by suggestions of sterilization and ultimate elimination of those she regards “unfit” in that “cradle competition between the fit and the unfit.”

Her writings betray ample evidence of her contempt for men, women and children on grounds of race, creed, disability, skin color, wealth, social status and religion. In Pivot of Civilization, in a chapter entitled “The Fertility of the Feebleminded”, she starts out by holding that “[t]here is but one practical and feasible program in handling the great problem of the feeble-minded... the moron, the mental defective, the imbecile.” These are the sterilization and contraception programs she helped to organize. Indeed these programmes turn out to be the answer to everything from insanity, epilepsy, criminality, prostitution, and poverty to mental disability:

“Modern studies indicate that insanity, epilepsy, criminality, prostitution, pauperism, and mental defect, are all organically bound up together and that the least intelligent and the thoroughly degenerate classes in every community are the most prolific. Feeble-mindedness in one generation becomes pauperism or insanity in the next.”

Sanger also viewed charity as a symptom of a social disease: “Organized charity is the symptom of a malignant social disease… increasing numbers of defectives, delinquents, and dependents. My criticism, therefore, is not directed at the 'failure' of philanthropy, but rather at its success.” She concludes the chapter by arguing that philanthropy and charity is a “sentimental and paternalistic” strategy “increasing the dead weight of human waste” . She says:

“Instead of decreasing and aiming to eliminate the stocks that are most detrimental to the future of the race and the world, [philanthropy] tends to render them to a menacing degree dominant.”

One cannot fail to be impressed by the standard of her rhetoric, but there can be little doubt, despite protestations to the contrary, that she was also a formidable racist. In fact, she was the guest speaker at a Ku Klux Klan rally in Silverlake, New Jersey in 1926 to foster faith in a plan called the "Negro Project," that was designed to sterilize black Americans. Planned Parenthood denies that their founder was racist but her words betray her time and again. In What Every Girl Should Know she has this to say of the Australian Aborigines:

“It is said that a fish as large as a man has a brain no larger than the kernel of an almond. In all fish and reptiles where there is no great brain development, there is also no conscious sexual control. The lower down in the scale of human development we go the less sexual control we find. It is said that the aboriginal Australian, the lowest known species of the human family, just a step higher than the chimpanzee in brain development, has so little sexual control that police authority alone prevents him from obtaining sexual satisfaction on the streets.”

Her recommendations are practical if nothing else:

“It now remains for the U.S. government to set a sensible example to the world by offering a bonus or yearly pension to all obviously unfit parents who allow themselves to be sterilized by harmless and scientific means. In this way the moron and the diseased would have no posterity to inherit their unhappy condition. The number of the feeble-minded would decrease and a heavy burden would be lifted from the shoulders of the fit.”

With population control concerns outlined in her book, Woman and the New Race, she asserts that the “most merciful thing that a large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.25

The history of the eugenics movement is an eye-opener for anyone who wishes to undertake an analysis. The Eugenics Society both in the UK and in America is a veritable “Who’s Who” of the ruling elite. From Marie Stopes, John Maynard Keynes, Lord Dawson, to Major Leonard Darwin, son of Charles. J. B. S. Haldane in 1922 recommended a future in which eugenic social engineers would control human reproduction in such a way as to improve the stock of mankind. Julian Huxley, the first director of the United Nations Educational and Scientific and Cultural Organisation, in UNESCO its Purpose and Philosophy, recommending a global evolutionary humanism for UNESCO, wrote immediately after the war in 1946:

“At the moment, it is probable that the indirect effect of civilisation is dysgenic instead of eugenic; and in any case it seems likely that the dead weight of genetic stupidity, physical weakness, mental instability, and disease-proneness, which already exist in the human species, will prove too great a burden for real progress to be achieved. Thus even though it is quite true that any radical eugenic policy will be for many years politically and psychologically impossible, it will be important for Unesco to see that the eugenic problem is examined with the greatest care, and that the public mind is informed of the issues at stake so that much that now is unthinkable may at least become thinkable.”

This anti-human ideology has been consistently opposed by the Church and her defenders. Social Darwinism came under fire from the English Catholic Hilaire Belloc who engaged Wells in a spirited debate in 1926 in an essay entitled Mr. Belloc Objects To “The Outline Of History”, (1926) and after an extended defence of his position by Wells, the essay “Mr. Belloc Still Objects” (1927). G.K. Chesterton too is famous for his “Eugenics and Other Evils: An Argument against the Scientifically Organized State” (1922). On the 31 December 1930 Pius XI’s Casti Connubii roundly condemned the practice of contraception and upheld the sanctity of marriage.

55. Small wonder, therefore, if Holy Writ bears witness that the Divine Majesty regards with greatest detestation this horrible crime and at times has punished it with death. As St. Augustine notes, "Intercourse even with one's legitimate wife is unlawful and wicked where the conception of the offspring is prevented. Onan, the son of Juda, did this and the Lord killed him for it." St. August., De coniug. adult., lib. II, n. 12, Gen, XXXVIII, 8-10.

Pius XI observed the assault on marriage constituted by the libertinism of the time:

45. For now, alas, not secretly nor under cover, but openly, with all sense of shame put aside, now by word again by writings, by theatrical productions of every kind, by romantic fiction, by amorous and frivolous novels, by cinematographs portraying in vivid scene, in addresses broadcast by radio telephony, in short by all the inventions of modern science, the sanctity of marriage is trampled upon and derided; divorce, adultery, all the basest vices either are extolled or at least are depicted in such colors as to appear to be free of all reproach and infamy. … The doctrines defended in these are offered for sale as the productions of modern genius, of that genius namely, which, anxious only for truth, is considered to have emancipated itself from all those old-fashioned and immature opinions of the ancients; and to the number of these antiquated opinions they relegate the traditional doctrine of Christian marriage.

The source of the error was that “matrimony is repeatedly declared to be not instituted by the Author of nature nor raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a true sacrament, but invented by man.”

Pope Pius XI’s 1937 Encyclical against the Nazis Mit Brennende Sorge (With Burning Anxiety) is also a reminder of the obvious trend of societies that pursued their eugenic, nationalistic and pantheistic ends in opposition to the natural law:

Whoever identifies, by pantheistic confusion, God and the universe, by either lowering God to the dimensions of the world, or raising the world to the dimensions of God, is not a believer in God. Whoever follows that so-called pre-Christian Germanic conception of substituting a dark and impersonal destiny for the personal God, denies thereby the Wisdom and Providence of God who "Reacheth from end to end mightily, and ordereth all things sweetly" (Wisdom viii. 1). Neither is he a believer in God.
8. Whoever exalts race, or the people, or the State, or a particular form of State, or the depositories of power, or any other fundamental value of the human community - however necessary and honorable be their function in worldly things - whoever raises these notions above their standard value and divinizes them to an idolatrous level, distorts and perverts an order of the world planned and created by God; he is far from the true faith in God and from the concept of life which that faith upholds.

This letter to the Germans, translated into the Germanic tongue was followed up by a distinct encyclical by Pius XII On The Unity Of Human Society. Banned by the Nazis, printed in huge quantities and dropped over Germany by the French, the encyclical was hailed on the front page of the New York Times as evidence of the papal condemnation of dictators, treaty violation and racism: (October 20th 1939) "Pope Condemns Dictators, Treaty Violators, Racism; Urges Restoring of Poland." The Church condemned human rights abuse, racism and eugenics in no uncertain terms. Even Albert Einstein wrote in Time magazine on 23 December 1940:

"Being a lover of freedom, when the revolution came in Germany, I looked to the universities to defend it, knowing that they had always boasted of their devotion to the cause of truth; but, no, the universities immediately were silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers whose flaming editorials in days gone by had proclaimed their love of freedom; but they, like the universities, were silenced in a few short weeks... Only the Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler's campaign for suppressing truth. I never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration because the Church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual truth and moral freedom. I am forced thus to confess that what I once despised I now praise unreservedly."

For our purposes, what remains of interest is that the birth control movement, and as we shall see, many of the forces we now observe pitted against life, family and religion are steeped in the eugenics and population control movements as well as in the related ideologies of liberalism, not to be confused with true freedom which it stifles, and utilitarianism. Of importance too is that the doctrine of the inherent dignity of each and every human life is notably lacking from the eugenicist weltanschauung.

The 20th century has seen the flowering of the “lives not worth living” ideology. The “lebens unwertenlebens” were discussed in Permission for the Destruction of the Life Unworthy of Life by Karl Binding and Alfred Hoche as far back as 1920. But the phrase has become famous because of its use by the Nazis by way of justification of its systematic elimination of those regarded unfit and undesirable. Part of the problem with this ideology is its focus on productivity and social utility over human dignity. Hence its anxiety about those regarded unfit or unproductive.

Indeed it is at least arguable that the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms was brought into existence precisely because systematic elimination of so many people regarded as undesirable or unfit in 20th century Europe. The Nuremberg Code and the Declaration of Helsinki were also a direct response to the eugenics strategies proposed and implemented in Nazi Germany in the name of progress and eugenics.

Part II. The warnings of Humanae Vitae

Whatever the effect of Humanae Vitae on Roman Catholics, the Western world had well and truly separated sex from babies by the 1970s and the effect has been staggering since. Almost every nation in the Western world has a rapidly ageing population, spiralling healthcare costs, and is on the verge of a pensions crisis. This is, in part, the result of a catastrophic decline in the birth rate of all countries but very significantly in Western countries. The European Commission is no champion of Roman Catholic teaching on birth control, but its Green Paper on Demographic Change is testimony to the seriousness of the problem that faces Europe. In Brussels on 17 March 2005 a spokesman outlining the Green paper had this to say:

"The EU is facing unprecedented demographic changes that will have a major impact on the whole of society. Figures in the Green Paper on Demographic Change launched today by the Commission show that from now until 2030 the EU will lack 20.8 million (6.8 per cent) people (*) of working age. In 2030 roughly two active people (15-65) will have to take care of one inactive person (65+). And Europe will have 18 million children and young people fewer than today."

Europe's population is getting older. European Commission reports that today 16% of the population of the EU is over 65. In 2006 there were 700 million over 65s, by 2050 it is predicted there will be 2 billion aged over 65.

A. Munich Economic Summit June 21-22, 2007

Europe’s demographic crisis was discussed at 2007's Munich Economic Summit, of June 21-22. Jürgen Chrobog, chairman of the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt, pointed out, in his introductory speech that "[t]he demographic changes that Europe experiences today are without precedent in its history." The low birthrates in Europe will lead to a decline of the labor force by roughly 21 million within the next 25 years, he observed, leading to negative consequences for economic output and competitiveness. Greater longevity and low fertility constitute a "demographic time bomb" due to deficiencies in pension and family policies, warned Edward Palmer of Sweden's Uppsala University. The number of people aged 15 to 64 per each older person aged 65 or over, has already declined from 12 to 9 between 1950 and 2007. By 2050, this is expected to drop to only 4 potential workers per older person. Unsurprisingly it is predicted that this will have a severe impact on taxation and social security policies.

Vladimir Spidla, European Union commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, pointed out that 16% of the European population is over the age of 65. If there are no changes in birthrates and immigration, by 2050, the proportion of old people will have almost doubled.

A recent report by the Population Division of the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs, "World Population Ageing," highlighted the unprecedented nature of rapid ageing in many nations. Globally, the number of persons aged 60 or over is expected to exceed the number of children for the first time in 2047. Already, in 1998, in the Western world, the number of children, i.e. those aged under 15, fell beneath that of over 65s in 1998.

In the Western world, more than one fifth of the population is currently aged 60 years or over, and by 2050 nearly one third of the population in developed countries is projected to be in that age group. In the developing world, the elderly currently account for just 8% of the population, but by 2050 they are expected to account for one fifth of the population. Furthermore for social and demographic reasons, the ageing trend looks like it might be irreversible, making the young populations ever rarer.

According to the most recent figures from the Office of National Statistics, there are more pensioners in the UK than there are children. There were 11,561,500 people of pensionable age in mid 2007 while only 11,509,400 under-sixteens.

All contemporary social comment places the blame for social decline squarely on immigration. Far from being regarded a band-aid solution to economic decline, immigration is seen as the principal social culprit for much that is wrong with the nation. All the while, not a word is uttered regarding the very obvious unwillingness of the British to produce their own children. So not only are commentators in deep denial about the effects of their liberalism, there is no likely solution to the problem since no-one is prepared to challenge the ideological status quo.

B. Liberalism and social control

The golden age sought by the population controller and eugenicist has not arrived despite the long anticipated collapse in Western birth rates. In order to prevent wholesale economic meltdown, immigration has been and will continue to be essential in all nations whose native populations are below replacement levels. Of course, the result for indigenous populations using replacement migration, rather than natural childbearing, as their method of choice to replace their populations, is striking cultural change. It is estimated that by 2035, Christianity will be a minority religion in the UK alone. Political correctness is unlikely to be a sufficiently powerful tool to conceal the apparent alterations to whole communities that are to take place in years to come. It is also worth considering too that not all cultures are self-destructive. Some protect their families and their religions. Some, indeed, regard children a blessing, the "decoration of life." For cultures that protect their families, future generations and religions, the future is bright. For the liberalism that has under-girded the decline of the West, however, we can expect greater and greater efforts at social control as the demands of liberalism ring ever more discordantly in the ears of the new religion and family supporting immigrant non-conformists.

Many Western industries are now predicated on the permissive society. The abortion, fertility, and pharmaceuticals industries, even the media, news, fashion and entertainment industries remain silent or actively promote the destruction of the structures upon which every thriving society is based: life, family and religion. With replacement migration, an ageing population and the long-standing interests in population control and eugenics, there is, not surprisingly, growing efforts at social control. Altered populations and family breakdown are a recipe for less rather than greater social cohesion and this brings with it greater excuse for the exercise of more government control.

It is often assumed that the liberal agenda goes hand-in-hand with social freedom. But in their advanced forms, liberal societies are far from free societies. In the UK, terrorism and youth crime are cited as reasons for laws which 50 years ago would have been regarded as evidence of totalitarianism or a state of emergency.

At the same time, the demands of eugenics and medical research have not disappeared. Consider that the UK has plans to upload the medical records of the entire population onto a central database called the Spine with little concern for dangers to individual freedom that this implies. There are proposals for a national identity card with biometric data encrypted. Needless to say, the implications for the disabled, the so-called unfit, unproductive, and undesirable, given the interests of insurance companies, governments, and, let us face it, an increasingly consumerist population, should not be underestimated. Far from promoting freedom, liberalism appears to hail greater social control. And the new technologies now offer increased scope for eugenic intervention via “agencies under social control.” This is possible at the beginning of life, by screening for disability followed by abortion, artificial reproduction, pre-implantation diagnosis and numerous other reproductive technologies, like human cloning and animal-human hybridisation. It is possible during life: with the prevention of the reproduction of the “unfit”, sterilisation and abortion for undesirables. In this context, the Spine represents a new threat by permitting efficient targeting of the undesirable. Finally eugenic intervention is also possible by way of induced death, that is to say, euthanasia, of the “unfit.”

A. Eugenic intervention at the beginning of life.

Paul VI warned that there would be a steady loss of respect for young human life, with the acceptance of contraception. Indeed, artificial reproduction, donor conception, embryo freezing, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, human cloning and animal human hybrids are all predicated upon the idea that embryonic human life is intrinsically worthless and the notion that sex can be separated from reproduction without moral dangers to would-be parents, societies and future generations. These techniques involve the manipulation, and, often too, destruction of young human life. Above all, the attitude to the human embryo is instrumentalist. The moral justifications for these techniques are from the same intellectual stable as those that support contraception. And legislative efforts that support this degradation of young human life, future generations and the significance of the sexual-marital bond, continue apace.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill 2007 seeks to create a legislative framework for the creation of animal-human hybrids and human clones. Also contemplated is the use of human tissue and gametes for embryo creation, research and destruction without the explicit consent of the tissue “donor”. Despite the cries of people born of donor insemination whose anguish about their origins has been time and again made known to parliament, the government ploughs ahead with legislation that will allow greater assaults on young human life, invites the creation of people whose origins are even more compromised than theirs and indeed requires their destruction after being created for the purposes of experimentation. The separation of sex from reproduction has indeed resulted in the devaluation of human life as prophesied.

As if this weren’t enough, the proposed new socially constructed family is predicated upon the idea that certain classes of children should be created in ways that deprive them intentionally and willingly of their biological parents and kin. Accordingly, the same Bill announces that there is no need for a father on a child’s birth certificate, for example, where a child is born of donor conception. Again, the Civil Partnerships Act 2004 places on the same legislative footing (for the purposes of finances and family creation) heterosexual and homosexual unions just to make quite plain that a child’s kinship and relations must not, by law, be regarded as something that is important. Parenting is regarded a social construct and one that caters primarily to the fertility industry and its clients. Scant regard is paid to the natural moral order that makes it inevitable that people will want to know who they are and have the love and support of their biological as well as social kin.

Let us be in no doubt about why attitudes and relations to our young matter. They matter in themselves to children who want the love and support of their biological kin as well information about those kin, their medical inheritance, their race and identity. One recipient of information from the UK Donorlink, a voluntary donor conception register, discovered that she was sister to many of her acquaintances via the world of donor conception. Indeed, it has become apparent that her father, a sperm donor over a period of decades, produced hundreds of children during his lifetime. The implications of this method of child creation for these people, their descendents and other family, should not be underestimated.

The Joanna Rose Case (Joanna Rose and Another v Department of Health and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority), too highlights the birth certification issues and simple distress facing people denied fundamental information about themselves. Still, in an effort to appease their masters, this anti-life, anti-marriage and anti-Christian government pushes ahead with legislation that creates people in ways that compromise their origins and deliberately deprives them of access to their blood kin. Human cloning implies the creation of children without ordinary parents. This has enormous implications for them. Policing the non-gestation of clones and hybrids is not merely impractical but legally impossible given requirements of free movement in the EC treaty. Given that origins matter to people, the long term implications of human cloning and animal human hybridisation in a climate in which it is impossible to police the gestation of these young, the discrimination entailed in this method of reproduction should give us pause. Proponents of the new family are unimpressed with the needs of future generations. Why should they be? They have little interest in the pleas of those they produce. Joanna Rose, Louise Jamieson, Christine Whipp and others like them, relay the numerous futile efforts at contacting fertility gurus like Robert Winston. Why should these proponents and financial beneficiaries of the new eugenics balk at the prospect of fobbing off human clones and hybrids?

We should also be in no doubt about why attitudes and relations to our young matter. They matter to society since they involve society in discriminatory laws and practices, and grave deception that impacts on whole classes of people. Not only does the mode of one’s creation matter to those created, they matter to societies and future generations by way of cooperation and complicity. Just as slavery and other forms of unjust domination and control over the lives and liberty people impacts on societies that permit the practice, artificial reproduction impacts on societies that allow such industries to flourish.

b. Eugenic intervention at the end of life

Of course with the shifting balance of workers and pensioners, the obvious solution may well be the usual “final” variety favoured by numerous regimes of the twentieth century. And the UK has indeed recently enacted legislation that permits removal of food and fluids from non-consenting mentally incapacitated patients. Those who have watched while anti-life exceptions become the new rule have no illusions about the implications of this new legislation. New parties are empowered by the Mental Capacity Act 2005 to make these lethal decisions on behalf of vulnerable patients. In a startling responsibility shifting exercise, the government has placed the power to eliminate life in the hands of those who may well be uninformed and unaware of the medical options open to medical professionals. NHS bed-clearing targets, research and organ interests, government population control agendas are rarely identified by members of a family keen to do as doctor suggests in authorising removal of treatment. Furthermore, section 30 of the Act permits non-therapeutic research on non-consenting patients in contradiction to the Nuremberg Code and the Declaration of Helsinki. And the wherewithal for voluntary euthanasia is set up with the recognition of, for the first time, legally binding advance directives.

With greater information by way of medical databases like the Spine, about the costliness of patients and their progeny a cycle of death can be predicted as the natural solution to various social ills for which there is now no admissible answer. Immigration, euthanasia, abortion, divorce are all regarded answers to the West’s decline.

Albert Einstein said that in his efforts to locate opposition to the destruction of freedom he so cherished, he scoured the universities and discovered silence. He turned to the editors of newspapers and found cooperation. The Church alone, he indicated, spoke clearly. He may not have agreed with the Church’s position on these matters, but her encyclicals on marriage and the family have been stunningly and marvellously at odds with the prevailing ethos of our times. I have suggested that their warnings have been born out by the passage of time. At the same time, a complete re-assessment of the bedrock of liberal ideology that pervades the West is rarely permitted by our intellectual elite. On the whole, their genuflection before the forces of often illicit industries (abortion, pornography, pharmaceuticals, fertility, population control) has been nigh on total. Once again, the Church speaks most loudly of all in favour of the intrinsic dignity of the vulnerable, the young, the old, of marriage and the family. Now more than ever, we should be listening to her.


Pope Paul VI warned that contraception would lead to promiscuity, loss of respect for life and the family, and breakdown of essential social structures. The march of history suggests this apprehension was, in many respects, justifiable. The separation of sex from children not merely leads to native population decline, and the diminution of the value and purpose of marriage, it involves a commodification and necessary degradation of that which society has an interest in protecting, both the family and young human life. More worrying still, however, is liberalism’s inevitable drift towards social control. The continuing interests of population control and eugenics and the greater opportunity for such control with the development of new technologies, I have suggested, herald disturbing new possibilities. Given the scale and success of the assault on the once robustly Christian West’s basic structures – her religion, her families, and her future generations – it is difficult to see any natural solution to the problem facing Western societies.

In spite of this crisis, perhaps for reasons of personal comfort, there appears a grave unwillingness on the part of secular and religious hierarchies to acknowledge the scale of the catastrophe that faces an increasingly self-destructive West. Like persistent drug addicts or alcoholics, those charged with our care and government, remain in a state of denial, often remaining silent or continuing to support the often lucrative structures and industries that bring about our collective demise. However, the faith of the Christian has never been natural. It is ultimately built upon the promise that by Our Lord’s eternal sacrifice we may be saved. With abortion, euthanasia of a steadily ageing population, the collapse of the family (and, with it, birth rates) not only is the Church’s teaching on marriage and the family proving ever more true, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass remains the only fitting form of propitiation available to man for these numerous violations of the natural moral law. The development of technologies offering new vistas of social control, suggests far worse is to come. Indeed the lessons of the twentieth century serve as a reminder of precisely what is humanly possible. In this environment, the Church needs, as a matter of urgency, to use its schools and parishes, at local level, to supply people with the intellectual and sacramental apparatus with which to combat the nihilism, relativism, social Darwinism and consumerism that besets the Western heart.


  1. Charles D. Provan, The bible and birth control Pennsylvania, Zimmer Printing, (1989).
  2. Stefan Kuhl, The Nazi connection, (1994); Richard Weikart, From Darwin TO Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics and racism in Germany (2004).
  3. Francis Galton, Essays in eugenics 81 (1909).
  4. H.G. Wells in Francis Galton (ed), Eugenics: Its Definition Scope and Aims 10 American Journal of Sociology (1904) 11. These were proceedings held in London [emphasis added].
  5. H.G. Wells, Anticipations of the reactions of mechanical and scientific progress upon human life and thought (1904) Available at:
  6. Id. p. 299-300
  7. Id. p.200
  8. Id. p. 300.
  9. Id. p. 315-7.
  10. Id. p. 317.
  11. Joseph Stalin AND H. G. Wells, Marxism vs. Liberalism: an interview (1937).
  12. Id. Even at the beginning of the 20th century Wells was working with Bertrand Russell and others for the technocratic reorganisation of society. Wells saw the end of World War I as an opportunity to create a new order for society. See H.G. WELLS, THE OPEN CONSPIRACY (1928).
  13. Steven W. Mosher, China misperceived: American illusions and Chinese reality, (1992); mother's ordeal: one woman's fight against China's one-child policy (1993).
  14. Margaret Sanger, pivot of civilization, 41 (1922)
  15. Id. at 49. See also 41, 42, 46, 47 for references to the problem of “defectives.”
  16. Id. at 59.
  17. Id. at 59.
  18. Id. at 47, 74, 76.
  19. Id. at 38.
  20. Id. at 49.
  21. Id. at 53.
  22. Id.
  23. Margaret Sanger, what every girl should know, 47 (1920).
  24. Margaret Sanger, The Function of Sterilization in Birth Control Review 299 (1926).
  25. Margaret Sanger, Woman and the new race, (1920). Available at:
  26. Julian Huxley, UNESCO its purpose and philosophy, a preparatory commission of UNESCO, (1946) at 21.
  27. Hilaire Belloc, Mr. Belloc objects to “The Outline of History”, (1926) and Mr Belloc still objects (1927). see also G.K. Chesterton, Eugenics and other evils: an argument against the scientifically organized state (2000).
  28. Numerous international documents support a total ban on non-therapeutic research on the mentally incompetent These include the Nuremberg code (1947) at 1 “The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential”; World Medical Association, Declaration of Helsinki: recommendations guiding physicians in biomedical research involving human subjects, adopted by the 18th world medical assembly, Helsinki Finland, June 1964; the international covenant on civil and Political Rights G. A. Res. 2200 (XXI), 999 U.N.T.S. 171 (1966), art 7; the World Health Organizations, Guidelines for good clinical practice for trials on pharmaceutical products (1995) WHO Technical Report series No. 850, Annex 3 at 3.3 (f) and (g). Expressing certain reservations on these non-therapeutic invasions see Penney Lewis, Procedures that are Against the Medical Interests of Incompetent Adults 2 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies. 575-618 (2002).
  29. Matthew Hickley and Sam Greenhill, “Ancient Britain” Daily Mail, 22 August 2008, p.6.