California Prison Illegally Sterilized Female Inmates Without Their Consent
Post Reply
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
08-07-2013, 11:53 AM
California Prison Illegally Sterilized Female Inmates Without Their Consent
You have got to be shitting me.....

Although it never got the kind of coverage that abortion rights did, forced sterilization was another reproductive rights violation that plagued women in the 20th century. The practice gradually disappeared as the concept of reproductive autonomy took hold in our national consciousness. Or we thought it did. But a new report from the Center for Investigative Reporting suggests that as recently as 2010, California prisons were coercing women into permanent sterilization by skipping over protocols put in place to prevent such coercion.

In California, a health care committee is supposed to authorize prisoner tubal litigations in order to prevent abuses, but from 2006 to 2010, 148 women were sterilized by doctors who just skipped that step. CIR says there may be as many as 100 more cases dating back to the 1990s.

CIR interviewed doctors who were involved in sterilizations in California prisons, and comments from these doctors only raise suspicion that they supported a system of bullying and frightening women into agreeing to sterilizations they did not want. Dr. James Heinrich is accused by at least one inmate of badgering her about sterilization until she caved, and his comments about the money spent by the state on these procedures are not very reassuring.

“Over a 10-year period, that isn’t a huge amount of money,” Heinrich said, “compared to what you save in welfare paying for these unwanted children—as they procreated more.”

"Unwanted" by whom? The women themselves or Heinrich? Christina Cordero, who was sterilized by Heinrich, says she wished she hadn't had the tubal litigation. So perhaps any child she might have conceived would have been wanted.

Another doctor who worked for the California prison system was recorded spouting right-wing urban legends about people who "want" to be in prison for the supposedly great health care.

The top medical manager at Valley State Prison from 2005 to 2008 characterized the surgeries as an empowerment issue for female inmates, providing them the same options as women on the outside. Daun Martin, a licensed psychologist, also claimed that some pregnant women, particularly those on drugs or who were homeless, would commit crimes so they could return to prison for better health care.

“Do I criticize those women for manipulating the system because they’re pregnant? Absolutely not,” Martin, 73, said. “But I don’t think it should happen. And I’d like to find ways to decrease that.”

Any comment that implies that certain kinds of people don't yearn for freedom should be viewed with suspicion, but especially under the circumstances. After all, as CIR reports, U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson of the Northern District of California ruled in 2006 that the health care system in the area prisons was so bad it constituted a human rights violation. The claim that women are routinely trading in their freedom and their families just to get access to such a shoddy level of care is pretty hard to swallow.

Incarcerated women deserve to have access to contraception, of course, and plenty of women are interested in long-term solutions. No one denies this, but CIR's report shows how "access" can turn into "coercion" very quickly when the women in question are marginalized or imprisoned. The frustrating part is that California already has fail-safes to make sure that line is not crossed, but the rules only work if you actually bother to follow them.


"We were conservative Jews and that meant we obeyed God's Commandments until His rules became a royal pain in the ass."

- Joel Chastnoff, The 188th Crybaby Brigade
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
08-07-2013, 12:24 PM
RE: California Prison Illegally Sterilized Female Inmates Without Their Consent
I went a googling but can't find the article, some years ago the San Francisco Examiner did an article on this, saying (female inmates were forced to have tubals) was used to cover up rape occurring in 'female' prison populations by male guards. I don't know if it's true, if that was (or is) a huge issue. Or if it's consensual...

I suppose the idea was no pregnancy then no 'rape' occurred the whole thing at the time made me sick. Also, it might also be fair that this article might have been before DNA was widely used. But I dunno..

But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
09-07-2013, 01:32 AM
RE: California Prison Illegally Sterilized Female Inmates Without Their Consent
It's terrible, true, but just think of all the terrible shit that you don't know about. This is compared to come the the atrocities being committed at the Federal level of government. We find these things out in bits and pieces, something slips, but I'd bet their are millions of victims of terrible atrocities, some of which may never be found out. For example I didn't know I was being exposed to asbestos for years in some shipyards, or that I was at increased risk for testicular cancer because of the nuclear reactors on out ship. We were told we were safe...if you weren't required to wear a device to measure rads being emitted then your good to go. I didn't found out otherwise until I was leaving the Navy. There is terrible stuff going on all the time.

I kind of went off on a tangent there, sorry, don't mean to sound paranoid, or cold, I am still disgusted by such stories, I'm just not that surprised by it is all.

Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Dark Light's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: