Eugenics

Eugenics refers to beliefs and practices aimed at producing human beings or populations with preferred or “better” characteristics. In the early twentieth century, eugenic ideas were popular in many countries and across the political spectrum, and provided scientific cover for practices and policy decisions targeting society’s most vulnerable communities. In the United States, these included the forced sterilization of tens of thousands of people considered “unfit,” stringent immigration restrictions, and public policies that encouraged “fitter families” to produce more children. In Germany, the Nazis used similar concepts to justify their extermination of Jews, people with disabilities, and other groups. A century later, many activists, bioethicists, and other scholars are concerned that a new form of eugenics may be on the horizon as market dynamics and individual choice, rather than government policies, drive decisions about our use of human genetic technologies.


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As one country responds with a ban on commercial surrogacy, the market just shifts to the next unregulated destination. An international declaration will thus send the right message against exploitation of women.

In 2016, the Indian government drafted the Surrogacy...

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A new advanced test for Down’s syndrome to be offered to pregnant women this year raises the prospect of people with the condition disappearing from UK society as terminations are expected to rise, the Church of England has warned.

Non-invasive...

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In the beginning, there was nature. Then the statistician Francis Galton — Charles Darwin’s half-cousin — set nature (heredity) in...

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When I saw the email asking me to write about the recent Ohio law that makes performing an abortion after...

Grayscale close up of a child looking wide-eyed as they lay bundled in blankets.

Op-Ed

A white toddler with long black hair and dressed in a pick dress, is held by an adult mother. The toddler sits on a table, with their hands extended reaching for another adult's masculine hand in front of the toddler.

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Transparent glass frames, with the repeating letters ATCG in bold black font.

Op-Ed