Eugenic Sterilization

Updated: Feb 16




Episode title: Episode 095/Eugenic sterilization

Episode summary introduction:

Once again we found a topic we felt worthy of discussion. And once again we found more than we were looking for. We call it the “rabbit hole”. It wasn’t until we were searching for a particular series of local events that we discovered that this topic expands beyond decades from our backyard and across the ocean.

Topic 1:

So what is Eugenic sterilization? It’s the forced or coercive sterilization of people as a form of permanent birth control in order to control reproduction in certain demographics of people. The theory dates back to the early 1900’s originated in the US but was brought to the forefront with Nazi Germany’s idea of the perfect race- selective breeding via Nordic features. That is an episode all in of itself.

Topic 2:

At the Central Virginia Training Center, which we often refer to as the Training Center locally, the Supreme Court ruling caused a massive increase in sterilization. The superintendent of the Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feeble Minded, Albert Piddy, had already begun sterilizing patients before it was considered legal. Topic 3:

The US thought sterilization of women would be a “fix” to what they believed was a poverty and population issue in Puerto Rico. Sterilization was pushed so much that it was part of the work force and offered for free, paid by the US government. The idea that some are more fit to reproduce than others took off and therefore the “poor brown people in a so-called underdeveloped nation were not fit to reproduce,”.

Outro:

I wish I could say that this ended with the development of birth control in the 1960-1970's or there are laws banning this treatment but sadly forced sterilization is still being practiced in many countries today (Northern China, Czech Republic, Africa, India). Forced sterilization is even still a problem in the US, in 2020 ICE detention centers were put under fire for sterilization. The fact that the WHO and UN have taken measures to make awareness of this cause is alarming enough not to stay silent.

References:

USA

https://www.pbs.org/independentlens/blog/unwanted-sterilization-and-eugenics-programs-in-the-uni

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2757926/

https://sites.uw.edu/twomn347/2019/12/12/early-american-eugenics-movement/

https://ihpi.umich.edu/news/forced-sterilization-policies-us-targeted-minorities-and-those-disabilities-and-lasted-21st#:~:text=Iowa%20and%20Michigan.-,Eugenics,by%20Francis%20Galton%20in%201883.&text=State%2Dsanctioned%20sterilizations%20reached%20their,during%20the%201950s%20and%201960s.

https://bpr.berkeley.edu/2020/11/04/americas-forgotten-history-of-forced-sterilization/

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/03/07/469478098/the-supreme-court-ruling-that-led-to-70-000-forced-sterilizations

https://www.splcenter.org/seeking-justice/case-docket/relf-v-weinberger

VA

https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/01/27/a-dark-past-should-virginia-pay-those-it-robbed-of-the-right-to-bear-children

https://uncommonwealth.virginiamemory.com/blog/2015/03/04/mug-shot-monday-sterilization-edition/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1980/02/23/over-7500-sterilized-by-virginia/8002199e-709c-4e18-8b54-3b44c130828f/

https://newsadvance.com/news/local/misguided-science-of-eugenics-had-roots-at-central-virginia-training-center/article_3555210d-fa9c-56d5-96f7-221eb36c4ffd.html

https://www.uvm.edu/~lkaelber/eugenics/VA/VA.html

https://embryo.asu.edu/pages/buck-v-bell-1927#:~:text=In%201927%2C%20the%20US%20Supreme,defects%20to%20the%20next%20generation

http://exhibits.hsl.virginia.edu/eugenics/3-buckvbell/

PR

https://journeys.dartmouth.edu/apulidolats3/2018/04/22/reproductive-genocide-a-look-into-sterilization-in-puerto-rico-and-east-los-angeles/

https://www.thenation.com/article/society/ourmotherstoo-reckoning-with-my-abuelas-coerced-sterilization/

https://www.library.wisc.edu/gwslibrarian/bibliographies/sterilization/

https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2020/10/10029088/puerto-rico-sterilization-abortion-reproductive-rights-history

https://www.panoramas.pitt.edu/health-and-society/dark-history-forced-sterilization-latina-women

https://eugenicsarchive.ca/discover/connections/530ba18176f0db569b00001b#:~:text=In%201937%2C%20Puerto%20Rico%20enacted,under%20United%20States%20territorial%20jurisdiction.&text=In%201976%2C%20the%20U.S%20Department,majority%20were%20in%20their%20twenties.

Article link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51nRsof66Z0





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