Abby Schindler is a research associate at the Institute on Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She earned her M.S. in disability studies from University of Illinois at Chicago in 2010 and lives in the west suburbs of Chicago with her spouse and children.

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When We Forcibly Institutionalize the Body of Christ

by Abby Schindler 10-04-2023

Image of an empty hospital hallway. Credit: Unsplash/Cory Mogk.

At the first 2024 Republican presidential primary debate on Aug. 23, presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy called for a return to involuntary institutionalization of “violent, psychiatrically deranged people” as a solution for our country’s gun violence epidemic.

His voice joins that of former Vice President Mike Pence who made a similar call at an NRA convention in April. Democrats are also pushing for the involuntary institutionalization of people: Last November, Democratic New York City Mayor Eric Adams laid out a plan for involuntary hospitalization as a solution for addressing homelessness, and Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom recently amended his proposed $6 billion mental health bond language that would have prohibited involuntary psychiatric institutionalization. Pence, Adams, and Newsom identify as Christian.