Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Unnatural Selection 3: Why Republicans Promoted Abortion

This week I will be blogging Mara Hvistendahl's Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men.

Gen. William Draper was a friend of Eisenhower and a staunch conservative Republican. When he oversaw the occupation of Japan just after the war he became a big proponent of abortion – for Asians. He saw it as a way to prevent poverty, and therefore communism. First in Japan, and then in South Korea, he pushed abortion and supported eugenics.

The ruling classes in those countries also supported abortion, thinking only the poor would use it. However, it was the educated women of the urban middle class who were especially drawn to abortion as a part of their planned parenthood. Though abortion was contrary to Confucian and Buddhist ethics, the developing Asian economies, under pressure from the Western aid agencies to aggressively control their population growth in exchange for aid, normalized abortion.

The ruling class in this country, as in other countries, supported abortion in the '50s and '60s . They did so not as a feminist movement for women's control of themselves. They supported abortion as a eugenic movement to control the poor.

No comments: