Eugenics, i.e. the elimination of undesirable genetic traits plays a significant role in US politics and public policy. Some of the underlying ideas are well-intentioned, but some stray dangerously towards harmful practices which tend to be genocidal in effect:
- elimination of undesirable genetic traits through external control of breeding
- conflation of "genetic traits" with "race", and therefore seeking to eliminate entire strains of humanity as "undesirable"
- White supremacy is a major cultural force in the US.
- policies which artificially shorten individual lives, rather than supporting genetically healthier offspring
- cuts to public healthcare services (Medicaid, Medicare) selectively harm those with inherited illnesses, as well as visible minorities who have been already disadvantaged by well-established patterns of discrimination
- the school-to-prison pipeline selectively shortens lives and prevents breeding among those deemed "undesirable", whose populations have been engineered to be overwhelmingly Black and Hispanic (the primary targets of white supremacy in the US)
It has falsely been argued that abortion services are an attempt to commit genocide on black people; the fact that a major provider of abortion services, Planned Parenthood, was founded by someone (Margaret Sanger) who advocated eugenics is often used as support for this idea. (While Sanger's expressed beliefs are certainly questionable in the light of modern understanding, her solution of making voluntary abortion services more widely available is far less ethically problematic.)
I should probably move the explanation of where eugenics goes wrong back up to the main article.