In a powerful address Saturday, Pope Francis said that prenatal testing to determine the presence of abnormalities for the purpose of abortion mirrors the Nazi practice of eugenic screening and ethnic cleansing.
Speaking to a delegation of the Forum of Family Associations at the Vatican, Francis reaffirmed the nature of marriage as the complementary union of one man and one woman, while decrying today’s abortion culture.
The pope set his prepared text aside to speak off the cuff to the group, urging everyone to help society regain respect for the value of every child and the plan of God for families.
“Children are to be received as they come, as God sends them,” he said. “I have heard that it is typical during the first months of pregnancy to do tests on the baby and if the child is not well or has something wrong we do away with it. Just to keep life peaceful, an innocent child is killed.”
“We do as the Nazis did to safeguard the purity of the race, but we do it with ‘white gloves,’” he said.
The Nazi party began its eugenics program in 1933, requiring German doctors to register all genetically related illnesses with the state, including mental retardation, schizophrenia, manic-depression, blindness, deafness, and other severe physical deformities.
Germany established “health courts” that ruled on almost 225,000 patients, mandating sterilization for around 90 percent so they could not reproduce.
The eugenics program accelerated in 1939 with Hitler’s notorious Aktion T4 program to clear hospitals and free up resources by forcibly euthanizing the mentally disabled. Aktion T4 began with the extermination of disabled children, who were dispatched by starvation or cocktails of lethal drugs, followed by the euthanizing of adult patients considered “unfit.”
The Aktion T4 program, summing deaths in Germany and occupied countries, took the lives of an estimated 300,000 people with disabilities.
The pope’s words Saturday follow on a number of legislative initiatives in the United States to ban selective abortions based on the presence of Down syndrome or other abnormalities, proposals that have met with fierce opposition from Planned Parenthood, NARAL, the Democratic Party, and other representatives of the abortion industry.
In the last two years, Ohio, Indiana, and Pennsylvania have passed bills outlawing abortions targeting babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in an effort to prevent “eugenics.” Two of these bills were later struck down by Obama-appointed federal judges.
The Pennsylvania legislation bans abortions sought exclusively because of “a prenatal diagnosis of, or belief that the unborn child has, Down Syndrome.”
In March 2018, a federal judge blocked Ohio’s ban on selective abortions of Down syndrome babies, saying the law “is unconstitutional on its face.”
In 2016, Indiana passed a law banning gender-selective abortions and those based on a prenatal diagnosis of disabilities such as Down syndrome, but another Obama-appointed federal judge blocked the law following a lawsuit by abortion giant Planned Parenthood.
In March, a Planned Parenthood student group at the University of Florida hosted an event to denounce the racist roots of the organization as well as the eugenics of founder Margaret Sanger.
“Come join Planned Parenthood Generation Action for a panel discussion on the racist roots of Planned Parenthood during Black History Month,” read the Facebook announcement of the event, which bore the title “Decolonizing Sexual Health.”
“Our subject is addressing the racist roots of the birth control movement, specifically pertaining to the influence of eugenics,” the post continued.
“Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood’s founder, is a controversial figure in this conversation because despite her devotion to reproductive rights, she also had beliefs, practices, and associations with eugenics that we acknowledge and denounce, and work to rectify today,” it said.
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