Nearly 150 incarcerated women forced into sterilization procedures in California prisons

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Doctors in California prisons forced nearly 150 incarcerated women to undergo sterilization procedures from 2006 to 2010.  The Center for Investigative Reporting broke this horrific news in a story released on July 7, based largely on research gathered by the California advocacy group Justice Now.

One woman is quoted by the Center as saying that the doctor “made me feel like a bad mother if I didn’t do it.” Another woman who worked in a prison infirmary and overheard conversations about the sterilizations commented, “Do they think they’re animals, and they don’t want them to breed anymore?”

These sterilizations represent an unconscionable injustice and smack of the racist eugenics programs of the last century which targeted poor women and women of color. We spoke with professor, activist and writer Salamishah Tillet about this issue for a piece for The Nation. (Forced Sterilizations and the Future of the Women’s Movement)

Click here for the full article from the Center for Investigative Reporting. 

Click here to find out about efforts underway in California to stop sterilization abuses from happening again.

The Correctional Association has not found forced sterilization to be a widespread problem in New York’s prisons. We will continue to keep an eye on this important issue in our work to monitor prison conditions.