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California Sterilizes Female Inmates

Updated on July 14, 2013

Like a scene out of a horror movie where devious medical staff or doctors are nefariously sterilizing inmates, California's government is in shock.

Women in prison can be sterilized if approved by the state medical committee. However, dozens of women have been without knowing about or being approved. Since 2005, at least 150 women have been sterilized by receiving tubal ligations that had not been approved and were coerced. In 10 other sterilizations, women had their ovaries removed under false pretenses. The report states that women were sterilized in outside facilities under contract with the state by doctors under contract with the penal system. It seems all of the sterilizations targeted only women. No men were sterilized.

Women at the Corona and Chowchilla institutions were targeted and none of the operations were medically necessary. Investigations reveal the doctors were not following established procedures and misleading the subject as to what was being done. This is like a scene from Hitler's "Angel of Death" doctor who conducted experiments on jews and women.

In one case, one inmate was told that two cysts would be removed. The inmate gave permission to remove the ovaries only if cancer was found but said she wanted to have kids. She was in jail for manslaughter.Yet, the doctor removed the ovaries even though no cancer was found in the cysts. In another case, the woman was sedated.

The investigation showed that although there was deception from the doctors, none of the sterilizations seemed to target types of race.

The doctors involved have been fired but no criminal charges have yet been filed, although, the state DA is looking into the matter. It is hard to see how the doctors involved would remain licensed and not be charged with some sort of fraud. Pressuring a vulnerable population to allow extreme operations under deception is atrocious. Getting health care in prison can be dangerous in its quality.


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    • perrya profile image

      perrya 4 years ago

      Thanks, I really thought this was a screenplay for a movie.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      Good hub, doctors should treat women inmates equally. They shouldn't take things according to their wish without considering the inmates feelings. Voted up

    • nancynurse profile image

      Nancy McClintock 4 years ago from Southeast USA

      Very well written. Interesting. I had no idea.

    • Hawaiian Scribe profile image

      Stephanie Launiu 4 years ago from Hawai'i

      Thanks for this hub. Voted up, interesting. Those who are talking up the supposed "war on women" should take up the cause of these women in prison, instead of concentrating solely on late-term abortions and the morning after pill for children.