Prison Industrial Complex War Against Women War On Women

Crimes Against Humanity

The only thing we haven’t seen in the war on women has been forced sterilization. Until now.

Over the course of several years, two women’s prisons in California signed at least 150 pregnant women up for permanent sterilization to be performed after they gave birth, without following the required state approval procedure. And now, some women who underwent the procedure say they felt coerced into having a tubal ligation while incarcerated, according to a report from the Center for Investigative Reporting.

Absolutely disgusting, but only a few steps down the road from government-mandated transvaginal ultrasounds.

  • Felonious Grammar

    Hmmm. I’ve decided to work against my strong distaste for repeating myself, and will repost one of my comments here. The war against women’s reproductive freedom has many misogynist fronts and most of them are also racist.

    Women are the fastest growing prison population in the U.S. and the world. A women’s prison reform movement has had some success in making it illegal for guards to shackle women prisoners to a prison bed while they’re giving birth. Women have suffered severe and permanent damage to their spines from this practice.

    And these states that care so much about the precious fetus? Many of them do not provide adequate prenatal or any prenatal care for pregnant prisoners. Maternal and infant deaths have been caused by sheer neglect and cruelty on the part of State and private prisons.

    And pregnant women have and are being imprisoned on behalf of the fetus— reproductive slavery.

  • muselet

    Two things jump out at me, reading the story.

    First, one of the prisons’ OB-GYN, James Heinrich, said of the $147,460 paid to doctors to perform the tubal ligations:

    “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.”

    Godwin’s Law be damned, that sounds awfully familiar.


    Federal and state laws ban inmate sterilizations if federal funds are used, reflecting concerns that prisoners might feel pressured to comply. California used state funds instead, but since 1994 the procedure has required approval from top medical officials in Sacramento on a case-by-case basis.

    Yet no tubal ligation requests have come before the health care committee responsible for approving such restricted surgeries, said Dr. Ricki Barnett, who tracks medical services and costs for the California Prison Health Care Receivership Corp.

    The receiver has overseen medical care in all 33 of the state’s prisons since 2006, when U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson ruled that the system’s health care violated the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

    The receiver’s office was aware that sterilizations were happening, records show.

    People need to lose their medical licenses over this. People need to be prosecuted for this. People need to be sued for this.

    It’s not often I’m ashamed to be a Californian. This is one of the times I am.


  • Teddy’s Person

    This is truly horrifying.

  • Aaron Litz

    Oh, eugenics sterilization rearing its ugly head again? Wonderful.