Introduced Version





SENATE CONCURRENT

RESOLUTION No. ____





DIGEST OF INTRODUCED RESOLUTION



        A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION to mark the centennial of Indiana's 1907 eugenical sterilization law and to express the regret of the Senate and House of Representatives of the 115th Indiana General Assembly for Indiana's experience with eugenics.



Miller




    _______________________, read first time and referred to Committee on








Introduced

First Regular Session 115th General Assembly (2007)


SENATE CONCURRENT
RESOLUTION



        A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION to mark the centennial of Indiana's 1907 eugenical sterilization law and to express the regret of the Senate and House of Representatives of the 115th Indiana General Assembly for Indiana's experience with eugenics.

    Whereas, On April 27, 1907, Indiana enacted our nation's first eugenical sterilization law, which mandated the sterilization of persons who were physically or developmentally disabled, mentally ill, or who had committed crimes;

    Whereas, The goal of the now-discredited eugenics movement was to provide a simple solution to the complex issues of physical disorders, mental illness, developmental disabilities, and changing social conditions by eliminating what the movement's supporters considered to be hereditary flaws through selective reproduction;

    Whereas, In the 1921 case of Smith v. Williams, the Indiana Supreme Court declared the state's 1907 law unconstitutional;

    Whereas, In a landmark 1927 decision, the United States Supreme Court upheld Virginia's involuntary sterilization statute in an opinion by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes;

    Whereas, Following the U.S. Supreme Court precedent, Indiana enacted a new sterilization law in 1927 authorizing the compulsory sterilization of persons living in a state institution;


    Whereas, Indiana involuntarily sterilized some 2,500 people, while more than 65,000 people were sterilized under similar laws in 30 other states during the same period;

    Whereas, Eugenics legislation devalued the sanctity of human life, placed claims of scientific benefit over human dignity, and denied the inalienable rights recognized by our Founding Fathers;

    Whereas, Eugenics legislation targeted the most vulnerable among us, including the poor and racial minorities, wrongly dehumanizing them under the authority of law and for the claimed purpose of public health and the good of the people;

    Whereas, In the past five years, several other states, including Virginia, Oregon, North Carolina, and California, have publicly repudiated their involvement in the eugenics movement; and

    Whereas, 2007 marks the centennial of Indiana's eugenical sterilization law, the first such law in the United States: Therefore,

Be it resolved by the Senate of the General Assembly

of the State of Indiana, the House of Representatives concurring:



    SECTION 1. That the Indiana General Assembly hereby expresses its regret over Indiana's role in the eugenics movement in this country and the injustices done under eugenic laws.
    SECTION 2. That the General Assembly urges the citizens of Indiana to become familiar with the history of the eugenics movement in the belief that a more educated and enlightened population will repudiate the many laws passed in the name of eugenics and reject any such laws in the future.