It would be distinctly immoral to sterilize healthy women, who become possessed with the old Roman passion for a childless life, or who simply wish to limit their families for any selfish or personal reason.
Any law which recognizes the induction of artificial sterility should make operative interference with those fit to procreate a healthy stock an offence.
Induced sterility should rank with induced abortion, and be a criminal offence, except in certain cases which could be defined.
There is much evidence to suggest that artificial sterilization may become as a great vice, as great a danger to the State as criminal abortion.
Artificial abortion, as commonly performed, is a much more dangerous operation than tubo-ligature. Of the two operations, any experienced surgeon would readily declare that the latter is the simpler and the safer; the one less likely to lead to unfavourable complications, and the one, moreover, that would leave the subject of it with the better “expectancy of life.”
Anaesthetics and antiseptics have made this comparison possible and true.
Any surgeon who performs tubo-ligature should be liable to prosecution, unless he can justify his action according to the law relating to the artificial sterility of the unfit.
While the law would eventually require to be obligatory, with regard to the absolutely unfit, it would require to be permissive in all other cases.
Many voluntarily abstain from marriage, because of a strong hereditary tendency to certain diseases such as cancer and tubercle.
There must of necessity be many on the border-land between the fit and the unfit, and clauses permitting sterilization under some circumstances would be required.
In conclusion let us briefly review the whole position taken up in this imperfect study of a great question.
1. The birth-rate is rapidly and persistently declining.
2. The food-rate is persistently increasing.
3. The declining fertility is not uniform through all classes.
4. The fertility of the best is rapidly declining.
5. The fertility of the worst is undisturbed.
6. The policy of
the State is inimical to the fertility of its
best, and fosters the fertility of its worst citizens.
7. The infertility
of the best stock is due to voluntary
curtailment of the family, through sexual self-restraint.
8. No such-factor
does or can obtain as a check to the fertility of
9. The proportion
of the unfit to the fit is in consequence
10. The future
of society demands that compulsory sterilization
of the unfit should be adopted.
11. No method ever
tried or suggested offers the advantages of
simplicity, safety, effectiveness, and popularity, promised by