Female Inmates Sterilized In California

    July 7, 2013
    Sarah Parrott
    Comments are off for this post.

Forced sterilization is a foreign concept to most, something reserved for the depths of sci-fi films, horror novels, and the darkest annals of humankind’s history. Or, so most would like to think. The truth is that sterilization is deeply entrenched in much history, wound up in the likes of eugenics, social Darwinism, and Nazi activities. Sadly, neither American shores nor modern times are immune to these horrors, as was brought to light by the shocking news coming from California that nearly 150 female inmates were sterilized between 2006 and 2010.

Doctors working under the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation performed these illegal procedures without state approval and with complete disregard of prison rules. Multiple accounts suggest that the doctors were coercive in their tactics, targeting women who were either repeat offenders or likely to become such. Crystal Nguyen, a former inmate of one of the prisons, worked in the infirmary, and said that she heard doctors asking women to consent to sterilization. Another former inmate, Christina Cordero, agreed to the procedure and says she wished she had never gotten it done.

State documents and other interviews suggest that there could be nearly 100 more cases of sterilization dating back to the 1990’s. A database of medical procedures for state inmates indicates that the state allotted over $147,000 for the procedures from 1997 to 2010. The use of state funds for sterilization in general has been illegal in California since 1994, with exceptions requiring approval from “top medical officials,” done on a case-by-case basis. Doctors and prison officials involved claim that they were unaware of the ban.

There is evidence that suggests a long history of California’s involvement in eugenics and social Darwinism, such as the the Asexualization Act of 1909 and possible linkage to Hitler’s Nazi programs during World War II. Articles discussing both of these topics can be found here and here. The writer also suggests the novel “Home” by Toni Morrison for a fictional (but based-on-true-events) account of forced sterilization, as well as the history and impact of eugenics in the United States.

  • Rick

    We should be thanking these fine physicians that did these surgeries on those brood sows who pop out kids at the drop of a hat. They think the more kids, the more welfare and bennies.

    • sandy simms

      My mom always said it takes two to tango.They did not get pregnant by themselves.Dick heads like you are also to blame for all the kids being born.So maybe they should start doing the snip snip on you guys without your permission.

    • mrtylercat

      yet you would be the first to argue castration for repeat sex offenders. And how is it always the woman’s fault?? if the deadbeat dads stuck around or paid child support, the welfare might not be necessary

  • http://none Larry Little

    I don’t think politicians should make medical decisions…….EVER!!

  • http://WebProNews Dianne Pradia-Ball

    I agree with Sandy…….there are NO immaculate conceptions! Rick sounds archaic and I’m being nice using that term. What about the men that go from woman-to-woman and create children with many different females? What do you propose to do with them? I suggest you give that some thought……

  • sol

    Tennessee man has over 20 kids; owes child support to 15 women

  • SD White

    This is scary. These are not the principles this country was created upon. If this kind of thing can happen to anyone, then it can happen to everyone. How do we know that this is not occurring to women who innocently visit their OB/GYN? How do we know that this is not being done to girls who innocently visit the school nurse?

    There should be a thorough investigation and these physician and prison officials should be sentenced to hard labor and jail time. No person should have the ability to take the freedoms of another without consent.

    This country is such a contradiction. Anyone who is still able to raise their hand to their heart to pledge allegiance, should think long and hard about what this country has and is becoming and what we want to leave for our children. God help us!

    • Christine

      Sterilization is a surgery, requiring an incision, usually performed in an operating room. Unless the nurse’s office is REALLY well-funded, I’m pretty sure no schoolgirl has to worry about secret sterilization with the nurse, and I’m pretty sure a woman would notice being put on anesthesia at their OB/GYN’s office. In any typical situation, unwanted sterilization is not something to be concerned about.

      That being said, this IS a TERRIFYING concept, that a citizen’s rights are so infringed upon. One could argue that perhaps convicted murderers and the sort SHOULDN’T have children, but that is a choice that each person needs to make for themselves. Those doctors had NO right to perform the operation without consent, and the claim that they didn’t know it was illegal is absolutely ridiculous. They’re trained medical professionals. They know perfectly well that an operation can only be done with the consent of the patient, or, if the patient is incapable of making their own medical decisions, a parent/guardian, spouse, or other of the sort. This is a disgusting revelation. I sincerely hope that these criminals are put behind bars -bars free from fear of sterilization.

    • ALLEN

      Are you for real? Tubal ligation is not something that you can do without someone sitting still for a while and I can say for sure the patient would know. My ex wife looked into this and there is pain associated with the process. Also school nurses do not do the type of things that would allow them to do this.

      Personally I think their are a lot of people that need to be sterilized in our country. If you cannot afford to have the kids you already have, you have no business having more. The truth is it cost lots of money to raise these kids on the governments dime which in turn affect our economy. If I were in charge I would mandate that if you have more than one child on welfare that you must get sterilized male or female. It is hard to believe but their are people out there that use having kids as a means of making a living which is horrible. Your ability to have kids shoul not be exploited in this fashion. Not only this but quite often the parents don’t even want these children and don’t raise them but rather lets society raise them which produces more welfare babies. I am all for having sex it is fun. But if you cannot control or just do not care about how many children you carelessly bring into the world then you do not need to have that privilege anymore. I am not talking people who lost their jobs and are hard on times. I am talking about people who have no intentions of raising and financially supporting their the children they bring into this world. I understand accidents happen but after 2 you for sure know how they were made and it is just carelessness on your behalf.

      As a society we should not be burdened financially with children because of ones carelessness in their sexual activities. If they want to have lots of sex regardless if it is protected or not the odds say eventually they will get pregnant. No form of birth control is 100%.

  • ANN

    I agree that sterilization should be conducted on men and women in prison (repeat offenders who have created innocent children that aren’t being properly raised by these irresponsible “breeders” because they’re not “parents”). It’s an unfair burden on family members willing to care for these children/victims and society with gov’t funds having to supply foster parents and other financial services – food stamps, etc.

  • nick angel

    This ‘forced’ sterilization needs scrutiny since how can an operation
    be performed unless the subject is keep still on the operation table.
    Eugenics in practice has its good -if not excellent points – for improving the race. In our democratic view of Freedom, however,it has to be a voluntary act or personal choice. And, it is impossible to have all citizens ‘educated’ on the matter under current conditions. Statistically, the CA disclosure is small, ergo, moot and academic.
    As to murderers, rapists, mutilating their organs may not be the permanent solution. These kind of egregious characters should be sent to a place where they could be by themselves and away from civilized
    society — never be able to return. Humanity is beset by myriad of problems —since ‘Adam and Eve’ were made in (a) Paradise —or so, it is said. Then, the ultimate solution to this dilemma is the dissolution or total disintegration of Adam’s race or children. And, a new, different ‘Adam’ be created. HOW CAN YOU DO THAT ???


  • John

    I think everyone who gets convicted of 2 non violent felonies or one violent felony should be sterilized.

  • PCL

    If you want to know why ALL violent felons, male and female, should be sterilized, just do a Google search on “child abuse”, “child neglect”, “child tortured”, etc. There are so many cases, you could read about it all day; the details will make you sick. The notion that it’s OK to take away a person’s property or freedom for a crime, but that their “right to reproduce” is some god-given thing that can never be compromised, is silly and barbaric. No one who can’t take care of themselves, or has to be locked up to keep society safe has the right to take virtual ownership of a small, vulnerable human being for 20 years.