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Women Prisoners Sterilized To Cut Welfare Cost In California

In California, prison doctors have sterilized at least 148 women, mainly Mexicans, from 2006 to 2010. Why? They don’t want to have to provide welfare funding for any children they may have in the future and to eliminate ‘defectives’ from the gene pool.

The sterilization procedures cost California taxpayers $147,460 between 1997 and 2010. The doctors at the prison argue it is money well-spent.

Dr. James Heinrich, an OB-GYN at Valley State Prison for Women, said, “Over a 10-year period, that isn’t a huge amount of money compared to what you save in welfare paying for these unwanted children – as they procreated more.

In 1909, California passed the country’s third sterilization law, authorizing reproductive surgeries of patients committed to state institutions for the “feebleminded” and “insane” that were deemed suffering from a “mental disease which may have been inherited and is likely to be transmitted to descendants.” Based on this eugenic logic, 20,000 patients in more than ten institutions were sterilized in California from 1909 to 1979. Worried about charges of “cruel and unusual punishment,” legislators attached significant provisions to sterilization in state prisons. Despite these restrictions, about 600 men received vasectomies at San Quentin in the 1930s when the superintendent flaunted the law.

Moreover, there was a discernible racial bias in the state’s sterilization and eugenics programs. Preliminary research on a subset of 15,000 sterilization orders in institutions (conducted by Stern and Natalie Lira) suggests that Spanish-surnamed patients, predominantly of Mexican origin, were sterilized at rates ranging from 20 to 30 percent from 1922 to 1952, far surpassing their proportion of the general population.

In her recent book, Miroslava Chávez-García shows, through exhaustively researched stories of youth of color who were institutionalized in state reformatories, and sometimes subsequently sterilized, how eugenic racism harmed California’s youngest generation in patterns all too reminiscent of detention and incarceration today.

California was the most zealous sterilizer, carrying out one-third of the approximately 60,000 operations performed in the 32 states that passed eugenic sterilization laws from 1907 to 1937.

Although such procedures may seem harsh, they are not illegal. The Supreme Court ruled in 1927 that women can be forcibly sterilized in jail in Buck vs Bell. Writing for the majority, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. said, “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.



Hey followers and followers f followers… As some of you know I do ask for things every now and then. Normally it is nothing big and doesnt matter much if someone  does what I ask or not..This time is not that time. Someone extremely close to me was raped last night. I dont know what to do, and I normally wouldnt post this to a site or on a feed, but she thinks it is her fault and all I can tell her is its not. Aswell as she didnt deserve it..I dont know what to do beyond that and hug her really. If you have a spare moment inbox me? With tis on what I could try or with notes to give her? 

Until the day she found herself checked in to Vanderbilt Hospital’s Psychiatric Center, Sarah Thomas referred to a drunken sexual assault at the end of her freshman year of college as simply a “very bad night.” When her psychiatrist instead used the R-word to discuss to the incident, she was taken aback.

"I never had considered myself a rape victim," Thomas wrote in a piece detailing her experience for xoJane. "Can you call it ‘rape’ if he makes you an omelet in the morning?"

In all, it took Thomas 10 years to fully acknowledge that the night was more than “a bad memory,” and to call the evening what it really was: rape.

Thomas’ story is familiar to many. Every year, thousands of young men and women have very bad nights. These are nights that legally fall within the definitions of rape or sexual assault, but because they weren’t violent, didn’t involve the heteronormative definition of sex or were so clouded by alcohol or fear that consent was never explicitly denied — are not characterized as a crime, even by the survivor.

The frequent confusion and denial surrounding sexual assault make up the basis of a forthcoming study in the journal Gender & Society, in which sociologist Heather Hlavka concludes that sexual violence and harassment are considered part of everyday life for many middle and high school-aged girls. Hlavka interviewed 100 youths between the ages of three and 17 years old, and found that they frequently wrote off harassment and abuse, noting the female subject “overwhelmingly described [it] as ‘normal stuff’ that ‘guys do.’”

Rape and sexual assault are among the most under-reported crimes in the world, but until now little consideration has been given to the fact that some survivors don’t report because they do not realize that they were raped in the first place.

When survivors don’t know they’ve been raped (via policymic)


Four times in the last five minutes, I have seen the phrase, “It’s not rape if you don’t say no.”

I want to remind all of my followers, and everyone in general, that rape is not defined as the presence of the word no but by the absence of the word yes.

Consent is a freely given, enthusiastic YES.
Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

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