© Robert Sommers 2019

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Prison Sterilization

Margaret Sanger
Do we have a eugenics program operating covertly in the California state prison system? From the Center for Investigative Reporting: Female inmates sterilized in California prisons without approval. Women say that they were coerced and forced into tubal ligations, a practice that is illegal under state law. Doctors act like they were doing the women and society a big favor. Over 148 sterilizations from 2006 to 2011 and perhaps a hundred more in the several years prior to that.
The top medical manager at Valley State Prison from 2005 to 2008 characterized the surgeries as an empowerment issue for female inmates, providing them the same options as women on the outside. Daun Martin, a licensed psychologist, also claimed that some pregnant women, particularly those on drugs or who were homeless, would commit crimes so they could return to prison for better health care.
“Do I criticize those women for manipulating the system because they’re pregnant? Absolutely not,” Martin, 73, said. “But I don’t think it should happen. And I’d like to find ways to decrease that.”
Martin denied approving the surgeries, but at least 60 tubal ligations were done at Valley State while Martin was in charge, according to the state contracts database.
Martin’s counterpart at the California Institution for Women, Dr. Jacqueline Long, declined to discuss why inmates received unauthorized tubal ligations under her watch.

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