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Holdren says Constitution backs compulsory abortion

John Holdren

Obama science czar John Holdren stated in a college textbook he co-authored that in conditions of emergency, compulsory abortion would be sustainable under the U.S. Constitution, even with Supreme Court review.

WND has obtained a copy of “Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment,” published in 1977 and co-authored by Holdren with Malthusian population alarmist Paul R. Ehrlich and Ehrlich’s wife, Anne. As WND reported, the authors argued involuntary birth-control measures, including forced sterilization, may be necessary and morally acceptable under extreme conditions, such as widespread famine brought about by “climate change.”

To prevent ecological disasters, including “global warming,” Holdren argued the U.S. Constitution would permit involuntary abortions, government-imposed sterilizations and laws limiting the number of children as steps justified under the banner of “sustainable well-being.”

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‘Warming’ result of too many people

A worldwide scientific agenda is emerging to link global population growth with global warming, arguing that climate change is such a severe crisis that the United States must participate in a United Nations mandate to implement global birth control in order to reduce carbon emissions.

Addressing the U.N. climate summit in New York yesterday, President Obama declared climate change resulting from global warming could leave future generations with an “irreversible catastrophe.”

A series of papers recently published by the Royal Society in Great Britain and by the United Nations have made a direct link between global population growth and anthropogenic, or man-made global warming.

The Economist magazine summed up the current argument Monday, stating, “A world with fewer people would emit less greenhouse gas.”

“World experts, in a wide range of disciplines, explore the ways in which the inexorable increase in human numbers is exhausting conventional energy supplies, accelerating environmental pollution and Global Warming, and providing an increasing number of Failed States where civil unrest prevails,” wrote Roger V. Short of the faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences at the University of Melbourne, introducing the series of articles in the current issue of Philosophical Transactions published by the Royal Society.

Constitutional mandate for abortion

Arguing that “ample authority” exists to regulate population growth, Holdren and the Ehrlichs wrote on page 837 of their 1970s textbook that “under the United States Constitution, effective population-control programs, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society.”

In the next sentence, the authors were careful to note that few in the U.S. in the 1970s considered the situation serious enough to justify compulsion.

Still, in the next paragraph, the authors advanced their key point: “To provide a high quality of life for all, there must be fewer people.”

The authors of “Ecoscience” argued that a “legal restriction on the right to have more than a given number of children” could be crafted under the U.S. Constitution in crisis situations under the standard that “law has as its proper function the protection of each person and each group of persons.”

On page 838, the authors argued, “The law could properly say to a mother that, in order to protect the children she already has, she could have no more.”

To justify the point, the authors commented “differential rates of reproduction between ethnic, racial, religious, or economic groups might result in increased competition for resources and political power and thereby undermine social order.”

The authors continued their constitutional analysis of government-mandated population control measures by writing: “If some individuals contribute to general social deterioration by overproducing children, and if the need is compelling, they can be required by law to exercise reproductive responsibility in their resource-consumption patterns – provided they are not denied equal protection.” (Italics in the original text.)

Recognizing the politically charged nature of the subject, Holdren has attempted to disavow his 1970s views that compulsory government-mandated birth control measures may be today necessary.

A Global Warming Emergency

An analysis of Holdren’s current statements on global warming strongly suggests the president’s science czar sees global warming creating an environmental emergency.

“The air and the oceans are warming, mountain glaciers are disappearing, sea ice is shrinking, permafrost is thawing, the great land ice sheets on Greenland and Antarctica are showing signs of instability and sea level is rising,” Holdren testified to the Senate’s Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation July 30.

Holdren told the Senate that the cause of these perils was human-generated carbon dioxide emissions.

“It is the emission of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping pollutants from our factories, our vehicles, and our power plants, and from use of our land in ways that move carbon from soils and vegetation into the atmosphere in the form of CO2,” he told the Senate.

He warned of dire consequences: “And the consequences for human well-being are already being felt: more heat waves, floods, droughts, and wildfires; tropical diseases reaching into the temperate zones; vast areas of forest destroyed by pest outbreaks linked to warming; alterations in patterns of rainfall on which agriculture depends; and coastal property increasingly at risk from the surging seas.”

And, again: “Devastating increases in the power of the strongest hurricanes, sharp drops in the productivity of farms and ocean fisheries, a dramatic acceleration of species extinctions, and inundation of low-lying areas by rising sea level are among the possible outcomes.”

‘Sustainable well-being’

The St. Petersburg Times’ fact-check website, Politifact.com, argued that in his Senate confirmation hearings, Holdren disavowed “optimal population” targets, a central thesis of the 1970s textbook, as a proper role of government.

While Holdren may have abandoned “optimal population” targets as a principle of public policy, an address he gave as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, subsequently published in Science Magazine in January 2008, shows he has adopted instead the standard of “sustainable well-being” as a guiding principle that could be utilized to set targets for acceptable population growth.

In the article, Holdren listed “continuing population growth” as a hindrance to the goal of realizing “sustainable well-being,” a point Holdren supported by footnoting Paul Ehrlich’s 1968 book “The Population Bomb,” thereby linking his current thinking with his 1970s-era thinking.

In that footnote, Holdren wrote that the “elementary but discomforting truth” of Ehrlich’s 1968 book “may account for the vast amount of ink, paper, and angry energy that has been expended in vain to refute it.”

Holdren’s “sustainable well-being” appears to be a nearly identical concept to what is known as the United Nations’ “Agenda 21”, which articulates the concept of “sustainable development” that is currently institutionalized in the Division for Sustainable Development of the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs.