WASHINGTON - A Democrat running for a U.S. House seat in Pennsylvania wrote a 1991 book that calls for government sterilization of some mental patients, welfare recipients, alcoholics and parents of diseased or deformed children.
Steven Porter, running in the 3rd Congressional District, said Tuesday that the arguments presented in his book are based on "hypothetic" cases and only recommend sterilization on a voluntary basis. Porter is running against Rep. Phil English in a race the five-term Republican is expected to easily win.
Porter's book, "The Ethics of a Democracy," argues that the state has a right to sterilize people who cannot care for their children. It also offers sterilization as an incentive for immediate release of parents who are incarcerated for endangering their children, including by alcoholism or poverty.
"We're going to have to deal with these questions - that the right of having a child does not end with a parent, but there are responsibilities that people are going to have to have toward the children who are born, and toward the societies in which they live," Porter said Tuesday. "And I will stand by that."
He challenged English to a three-hour discussion on the merits of sterilization as raised in his book, which he described as a discussion of "what might be ethical, and what might not be ethical in a democracy."
Paul Lombardo, professor at the Center for Biomedical Ethics at the University of Virginia, said the idea of state-sponsored sterilization lacks mainstream support because, in part, "we got a little insight about how badly that kind of thing could be used with Hitler."
"Most people in the ethics world will agree - and we won't agree on most things - but they agree that governmental programs of sterilization are a bad idea," Lombardo said. "Fortunes change, and in this country we believe in the notion that people can improve their lives, and overcome their challenges - medical and otherwise."
English's campaign manager Brad Moore called Porter "a dangerous radical."
"I thought this kind of thinking went out of style in the 1930s," Moore said. "Frankly, a lot of people died on the beaches of Normandy to fight against these kinds of policies."
In the case of a mental patient, "Jane," for example, Porter wrote: "Not able to care for children, does she have an ethical right to bear them, an ethical right to inflict the costs of bearing and raising them on the state? And if Jane continues to have sex, does the state not have the right to prevent that infliction?"
"If she wishes sex, she must face sterilization because no individual has the ethical right to force society to take responsibility for his or her own acts," Porter wrote.(source, FR Thread)
At least even the most slimy fiscal conservative Republicans couldn't make it past the primary with this sort of thinking. Too bad the dems have too small a population of social conservatives to weed out this warmed-over eugenic garbage.