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Did a Pro-Eugenics Org Advertise on MSNBC During the GOP Debate?

Targets "runaway population growth."

During Wednesday's GOP presidential debate, a group called Californians for Population Stabilization ran an advertisement advocating for caps on legal -- not illegal -- immigration.

In the ad, a man shuffles the letters in the word "illegal" to separate the "I-L" from "L-E-G-A-L" and says:

Now that so many Californians are out of work, attention is turning to the millions of illegal workers in the state. It's about time. But what about these workers? Legal foreign workers -- one million legal immigrants and temporary workers our government admits every year that take good jobs in places like California, no matter how many Californians are out of work or how ill the economy gets. We need to slow legal immigration 'till California is working again. Paid for by Californians for Population Stabilization.

So just what is Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS)? According to their website, the group focuses on "runaway population growth," a problem it says will have "severe and irreversible consequences for our children and grandchildren":

The solutions are limiting immigration, encouraging lower fertility and educating the public about likely outcomes if we fail to take decisive action today.

"Encouraging lower fertility"? Is that a milder way of saying "population control?" Indeed, Californians for Population Stabilization allies itself with Planned Parenthood in several places on its website, and praises Margaret Sanger, a known proponent of eugenics, for her "important work."

Take a look at what the group says it supports with regard to "family planning":

  • Promotion of smaller family size.

  • Age-appropriate sex education for all adults and youth.

  • Wide availability of family planning services, contraception and guidance.

  • Increased funding for California's Office of Family Planning and all state programs dealing with pregnancy prevention and contraception.

  • Complete insurance coverage for all FDA-approved contraceptive methods.

  • More money, research and production of newer, safer contraceptive methods, including contraceptive methods for males.

  • Preventing unintended pregnancies, especially among teenagers.

  • Application of the state and federal child tax credits only to the first two children (with exceptions for adopted and foster care children).

According to its website, the organization split from the Zero Population Growth (now called Population Connection) at its 1986 founding to occupy a "special niche" in the "population-environment movement."

Many of its anti-population growth statements center on the impact "foreign-born women":

Total fertility rates are below replacement (2.1 children per woman) for all groups in California except for Hispanics, whose total fertility rate is 2.68 (CA Dept. of Finance). But it is direct immigration and births to foreign-born women that now account for virtually all of the population growth in California. CAPS is unique among population and immigration reduction organizations in our advocacy of less immigration, small family size and the wide availability of family planning information and contraceptive use.

Additionally, according to reports, Californians for Population Stabilization received money from the Pioneer Fund, which studies heredity and has roots in the eugenics movement.

While Californians for Population Stabilization does not itself advocate outright for any kind of forced sterilization, that doesn't seem like a far cry from everything else it favors:

With the number of unintended pregnancies in the U.S., high abortion rates in cities such as New York City (41 percent) and teen pregnancies, CAPS believes there’s significant opportunity to educate U.S. girls and women about better choices to ensure their health and prosperity and that of their children, which ultimately will also contribute to a sustainable population.

Taken together, Californians for Population Stabilization seems like a curious organization to advertise on MSNBC, particularly considering the network has refused to air "controversial ads" in the past.

One last thing…
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