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October 16, 1972

Compulsory Sterilization

JAMA. 1972;222(3):360. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03210030078025

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To the Editor.—  Angela R. Holder's conclusion (221:229, 1972) that a decline in forced sterilization cases exists because "any system of compulsory sterilization is too near naziism to be acceptable in a democratic society" ignores present realities. At no time in American history has there been greater acceptance of the idea that human procreation must be regulated by coercive means. Many leaders of the movement for population control, for example, openly advocate mandatory sterilization, abortion, and birth control as part of their crash program for population stabilization. Simultaneously, a growing number of those concerned with genetic "quality" demand that individual rights be subordinated or destroyed for the good of society and the species.Meanwhile, the increasing minimization of the enormous complexities of the abortion issue to a morally and medically neutral therapeutic procedure, threatens to make abortion, as well as sterilization, innocuous public health measures that could be forced on society if