Weatherford Democrat

Community News Network

July 8, 2013

California prisons illegally sterilizing female inmates as recently as 2010

NEW YORK — Although it never got the kind of coverage that abortion rights did, forced sterilization was another reproductive rights violation that plagued women in the 20th century. The practice gradually disappeared as the concept of reproductive autonomy took hold in our national consciousness. Or we thought it did. But a new report from the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) suggests that as recently as 2010, California prisons were coercing women into permanent sterilization by skipping over protocols put in place to prevent such coercion.

In California, a health care committee is supposed to authorize prisoner tubal litigations in order to prevent abuses, but from 2006 to 2010, 148 women were sterilized by doctors who just skipped that step. The Center for Investigative Reporting says there may be as many as 100 more cases dating back to the 1990s.

CIR interviewed doctors who were involved in sterilizations in California prisons, and comments from these doctors only raise suspicion that they supported a system of bullying and frightening women into agreeing to sterilizations they did not want. James Heinrich is accused by at least one inmate of badgering her about sterilization until she caved, and his comments about the money spent by the state on these procedures are not very reassuring.

"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."

"Unwanted" by whom? The women themselves or Heinrich? Christina Cordero, who was sterilized by Heinrich, says she wished she hadn't had the tubal litigation. So perhaps any child she might have conceived would have been wanted.

Another doctor who worked for the California prison system was recorded spouting right-wing urban legends about people who "want" to be in prison for the supposedly great health care.

Text Only
Community News Network
Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast
Poll

The City of Weatherford is considering an ordinance that would ban smoking inside restaurants and enclosed areas where food is prepared, sold or consumed. Do you agree with this proposal?

Yes
No
Undecided
Don't care
     View Results