Eugenics ...another word for a gross injustice. in the USA.
Then, a hidden and shameful part of our history that will shock you. Imagine the government said you were either too poor, too promiscuous or not smart enough to have children… and forced your sterilization. It happened in this country as late as the 1970s. Tens of thousands of Americans were sterilized against their will; men, women and even children.
Straight from the headlines, one woman shares her harrowing story of how a state government sterilized her over 44 years ago. Hear why she was targeted and what she wants everyone to know. Victims are speaking out, and they not only want an apology, they want justice. It's important to understand how this happened... so it never happens again
During her pregnancy, at age 30, she received care from one of Pullman's few obstetricians. She endured labor without drugs, and I was born healthy in 1972. Because fathers weren't allowed in the maternity ward overnight, my dad went back to their apartment when I was a few hours old.
As soon as he left, the doctor cut out my mom's uterus.
He didn't ask permission to perform the hysterectomy. In fact, he ignored her pleas. "There are too many colored babies already," he told her. Exhausted from labor, my mom was too weak to resist as she was wheeled into the operating room and put under anesthesia. On her medical record, the doctor wrote "exploratory" as the reason for the operation. The real reason, of course, was eugenics, the racist pseudoscience of human breeding.
According to historian Mark Largent, more than 63,000 people were forcibly sterilized under eugenics-inspired official state programs in the U.S. between 1907 and 1980. Roughly one-third of them were sterilized in California. My mom was among the uncounted others who were coercively sterilized by overzealous private doctors acting on their own. Medical privacy laws make it hard to learn how many were victimized this way.
The recognition that so many people were systematically wronged has been slow in coming. Law professor Paul A. Lombardo has found that just seven of the 32 states with official sterilization programs have apologized to their victims: Virginia (2001), Oregon (2002), North Carolina (2002), South Carolina (2003), California (2003), Georgia (2007) and Indiana (2007). (Two states do not appear to have officially sterilized people before their compulsory sterilization laws were removed: New Jersey and Nevada.)
Only North Carolina has gone further. Earlier this year, a task force recommended a lump-sum payment of $50,000 to each victim still living: 2,000 of 7,600. The state also set up a counseling service and a traveling exhibit on eugenics.
Much more must be done. The other 23 states that practiced eugenics -- Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin -- must apologize and offer compensation to their victims.
I don't know about anyone else, but yesterday watching Anderson Cooper, I was shocked to hear the USA practiced " eugenics laws " from the 1890's til 1970-something. In fact the nazi's got the idea of forced sterilization from the USA. BTW, not just women of color were sterilized, both men and women were sterilized if they had been arrested, institutionalized, raped, substance abusers, children in orphanages. etc. It makes ones skin crawl to think our country could be so inhumane. Further many in government don't even recognize or are willing to talk about this gross injustice.