A Century of Eugenics in America: From the Indiana by Paul A. Lombardo

By Paul A. Lombardo

In 1907, Indiana handed the world's first involuntary sterilization legislation in accordance with the speculation of eugenics. In time, greater than 30 states and a dozen international international locations go well with. even supposing the Indiana statute used to be later declared unconstitutional, different legislation proscribing immigration and regulating marriage on "eugenic" grounds have been nonetheless in influence within the U.S. as overdue because the Seventies. A Century of Eugenics in the United States assesses the background of eugenics within the usa and its prestige within the age of the Human Genome venture. The essays discover the early help of obligatory sterilization through medical professionals and legislators; the implementation of eugenic schemes in Indiana, Georgia, California, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Alabama; the felony and social demanding situations to sterilization; and the customers for a eugenics flow basing its claims on sleek genetic technology.

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49 Opponents of sterilization would wait more than 10 years before the remaining sterilization law was repealed. In 1972 Speaker of the House Otis Bowen was elected governor of Indiana. Midway through Bowen’s first term in 1974, James Drews, the representative from LaPorte, Marshall, and Starke counties, authored a T h e I n d i a n a Wa y o f E u g e n i c s â•… · â•… 37 repeal measure, House Bill 1238. It passed 65 to 29. In the Senate, the bill was cosponsored by Senators Walter Helmke of Allen and DeKalb counties and Robert Garton of Bartholomew and Johnson counties, giving it statewide support.

31 The CMD was only a local manifestation of this larger national trend. Although Indiana’s highest court had invalidated the 1907 law, later in the 1920s sentiment in favor of sterilization again ripened. Senator C. Oliver Holmes of Gary, a member of the CMD, became sterilization’s new legislative champion. His hometown newspaper, the Gary Post-Tribune, advocated a return to sterilization. The paper pointed to the apparently increasing number of feebleminded people in the state and the taxpayer expense that their care represented, arguing that mass sterilization represented the state’s only hope.

1937), 1191–92, 1215. ╇ “Eugenic Sterilization in Indiana,” Indiana Law Journal 38 (1962–63): 288; Philip R.

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