lest I ever feel tempted to point an accusing finger at anyone in history, I might want to consider that:

“forced sterilizations… date back more than 100 years, when states across the country… approved ‘eugenic sterilization.’ These early laws passed by state legislatures allowed state officials to sterilise males and females – some as young as 12 or 13 years old – believed to have inheritable and incurable diseases or afflictions, including insanity, mania, or dementia.

“In subsequent years, those laws were relaxed and expanded when the hereditary requirement was removed, giving state medical officials wide discretion in determining what constituted ‘perverse’ behaviors. These included everything from ‘feeblemindedness’ (defined as having the maximum mental capacity of a 12-year-old), schizophrenia, manic depression, psychosis, epilepsy, or ‘sexual perversion’ (including homosexuality, gender nonconformity, sex outside of marriage, and syphilis). Those with disabilities, such as blindness, deafness, and physical deformities, did not escape the operating table.

“In the so-called progressive states, particularly California, tens of thousands of people were sterilized without their or their or custodians’ consent. Between 1909 and 1979 (when sterilization laws were repealed, or amended), California conducted 20,000 of the 60,000 recorded sterilizations nationwide.”


and… lest I feel tempted to pass this off as ancient history, I might want to consider that:

“In September 2020, repots emerged from the Irwin County Detention Center, an immigration facility in Georgia, detailing forced hysterectomies performed on migrant women held in custody.”


and… of course this horror is not evenly distributed across the population:

“the most vulnerable members of society have fallen, and continue to fall, victim to eugenic sterilization. Poor, undereducated, and marginalized women of color… have been sterilized against their consent in disproportionate numbers. Gender-nonconforming people and impoverished white women, particularly unmarried mothers and those with many children have been singled out as well.

Miroslava Chavez-Garcia“In recent decades, Spanish women on state support, Native women on federal reservations, African American women in prisons, and migrant women have fallen prey to the U.S. federal detention apparatus. This system too often functions above and beyond the law, despite the beliefs of advocates that forced sterilization violates the Constitution, as well as the Hipporactic Oath…”

Chavez-Garcia, Miroslava “A Cruel And Appalling Overreach”. Sojourners, April 2021 Vol 50 No. 4.  https://sojo.net/magazine/april-2021/confronting-horror-forced-sterilizations