Compulsory Sterilization, State by State

8716sterilisation Compulsory Sterilization, State by State

Lutz Kaelber, a sociologist at the University of
Vermont, has put together an impressive compendium of data on
the eugenics programs of the 20th century, showing the time period
that each state sterilized citizens, the approximate number of
people who went under the knife, and other relevant information.
Kaelber’s page on ;North
Carolina, for instance — a state in the news
earlier this year when it finally compensated some of the
program’s victims — estimates that the authorities there did more
than 7,600 of the surgeries from 1929 through 1973. The page also
describes the places that either performed the operations or served
as “feeder institutions” for the surgeons (“The Stonewall Jackson
Training School was founded in 1907 and was North Carolina’s first
juvenile detention facility”) and details some of the cases. For
example:
Elaine Riddick…had been sterilized at the age of 14
by a state order in North Carolina in 1968 after giving birth to a
baby after being raped. When she was operated on she was not
informed that she was being sterilized. She only discovered this
years later when she was trying to get pregnant with her husband.
She was part of the lower class and the consent form had been
signed by her illiterate grandmother and neglectful
father.
There is a great deal of variety from state to state, including
some, such as ;Arkansas,
that avoided compulsory sterilizations altogether. The whole site is worth
exploring.
Elsewhere at Reason: We’ve published several pieces on
these programs over the years, including
this article by Nick Gillespie and this
one by yrs. truly.

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Compulsory Sterilization, State by State


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