Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Health Care

HHS Mandate via Puerto Rico

First, they came for the Puerto Ricans.  The HHS mandate requiring sterilization and birth control coverage in health insurance was anticipated in the New Deal policy toward Puerto Rico. It is now plain how New Deal and successive leftist social engineering embraces all aspects of political, commercial, and family life.

The recent Republican presidential primary in Puerto Rico drew attention to this constitutional oddity--a commonwealth/colony of American citizens. But the contenders overlooked the most significant element of recent Puerto Rican history for American politics today.

Franklin Roosevelt appointed one of the architects of the New Deal, Rexford G. Tugwell as its Governor.  Serving from 1941-46, Tugwell followed Progressive ideology and transformed the University of Puerto Rico into a think-tank for liberal reforms for the island. He established a decades-long practice of using Puerto Rico as a laboratory for liberal policies, including birth control through sterilization and the pill.  

According to one historian (JSTOR link), heavily Catholic "Puerto Rico became the chief testing ground for the birth control pill."  For a while more women were sterilized there than in any other country in the world. These population control measures, tied with economic reforms, were intended to make Puerto Rico a "showcase for democracy" in the Cold War, a model of enlightened policy toward developing nations.

Bored by their lack of progress, scholars of Puerto Rico such as Oscar Lewis (author of the classic study La Vida) turned instead to that more exciting example of Cuba.

We don't need West Side Story to know that Puerto Ricans "like to be in America." But what happens when America becomes another Puerto Rico?

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