California Offers Reparations to Survivors of Forced Sterilization in the Name of Public Health

California Offers Reparations to Survivors of Forced Sterilization in the Name of Public Health

Jan. 1, 2022 marked the beginning of a $7.5 million California state program which is paying reparations to survivors of the state’s forced sterilization program that were performed between 1909 and 1979 under a state eugenics law. The California eugenics law, which spanned seven decades, allowed forced sterilization of women in hospitals, homes, or institutions if the state judged them to be “feeble-minded, sexually deviant, or undesirable.”1

The law ended up allowing government officials to target the mentally ill, the disabled, and people of color by justifying that it was a way “to improve the outcome of the human race.”1

The law was repealed in 1979 after racking up the highest number of sterilizations performed in any state—an estimated 20,000 people were involuntarily sterilized.2 The state estimates that there are approximately 600 survivors still alive today who are eligible for compensation.

California resident Mary Franco was forcibly removed from her home and institutionalized in 1934 after her parents found out she was being molested by a neighbor. Branded as “sexually deviant,” Franco’s parents did not know that by placing her in a state-run institution, they were also subjecting her to involuntary sterilization.1

Prisoners Sterilized Using State Funds Until 2013

Carly A. Myers, a staff attorney at the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, says that there are still many existing survivors who may be completely unaware that they are victims of forced sterilization. Myers said:

All people were sterilized without their consent, but some were sterilized without their knowledge. 1

Despite the law’s  repeal in 1979, California continued to sterilize female inmates until as recently as 2013. A state audit that took place between 2006-2010 revealed that 144 female prisoners were sterilized in that timeframe.2

One of these prisoners was Kelli Dillon who in 2001 underwent a hysterectomy but was told the surgery was to treat an ovarian cyst. An investigation from the Center for Investigative Reporting found that California used almost $150,000 in state funds to pay doctors to perform sterilizations between 1997-2013.3

Mandatory Sterilization Compared to Mandatory Vaccination as Ethical Public Health Policies

An article published in the American Journal of Public Health outlines the obvious ethical issues surrounding forced sterilization. The authors stated:

During the first half of the 20th century, eugenics was a popular ‘science’ in the United States and throughout the world that influenced many public health policies and programs.4

In 1927, at the height of the eugenics movement, a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case, Buck vs. Bell, was decided with the famous Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendall Holmes, Jr. writing the opinion for the majority. The court ruled that Carrie Buck, a Virginia resident was “feebleminded” and it was in the best interest of the state to sterilize her to protect the public health.  The ruling paved the way for 30 additional states to enforce similar eugenics-based sterilization  laws.5

Chief Justice Holmes argued that forced sterilization and mandatory vaccinations were similar public health interventions that protected society and stated:

The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover the cutting the fallopian tubes.4

Chief Justice Holmes also argued that if the nation could call upon its best citizens to sacrifice their lives during times of war, it could also demand a “lesser” sacrifice of those who “sap the strength of society.”6


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6 Responses to "California Offers Reparations to Survivors of Forced Sterilization in the Name of Public Health"

  1. Roberta   February 8, 2022 at 1:45 am

    I wonder with all the eugenicists stalking the ordinary citizens of the world, whether it would be more truthful to call 2020-22 the apogee of the Eugenics Movement?

    Reply
  2. Dee   February 8, 2022 at 5:11 am

    Horrific evil!
    We are to serve love give to the “feeble minded” prisoners, less fortunate,, weak , sick,etc.
    Never to harm or force what we think is best. for them.
    Nor are we to take a shot wear a mask isolate to save or protect others.

    Reply
  3. Linda Milkes   February 8, 2022 at 7:44 am

    Since Oliver Wendell Holmes linked mandatory vaccination and mandatory sterilization, they should remain linked and this country should do away with both practices.

    Reply
  4. Lyn   February 8, 2022 at 10:13 am

    Forced sterilization then, forced, inadequately tested vaccines now, and very ill people being removed from transplant lists because they refuse to submit to the “vaccines.” It’s all eugenics thanks to the population control elites.

    Reply
  5. Barb Blasco   February 8, 2022 at 2:10 pm

    These mandated Covid-19 vaccines can also be a form of eugenics today. These are unlicensed vaccines and we don’t know what harm they might do in the future. It’s really scary that the pharmaceutical companies felt it necessary to protect themselves from lawsuits from vaccine injuries. What do they know that we don’t.

    Reply
  6. Barbara   February 8, 2022 at 8:44 pm

    Don’t overlook California’s forced ECT (electric-shock therapy), and Lobotomies into the 1970’s and even of recent as far as ECT. Causes damage, and should be reparations.

    Reply

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