Forced Sterilization of Women of Color Is an American Tradition

The Long, Disgraceful History of American Attacks
on Brown and Black Women's Reproductive Systems

Alleged medical abuses on immigrant women’s reproductive systems are as American as apple pie.

Forced sterilization of poor women of color is an American tradition.

Rightful public fury has followed allegations this week that hysterectomies were performed on numerous women imprisoned at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Irwin County Detention Center. According to a whistleblower, a nurse at the facility, the women “reacted confused” when they learned what had been done to their bodies.

The allegations produced a flood of commentary. Some drew comparisons to Nazi Germany’s eugenic sterilization programs. These commentators, however, did not need to reach so far across the globe: Some of the most extreme allegations echo a long and disgraceful history right here in America.

[Continue reading Natasha Lennard’s article on The Intercept…]

In front of a small crowd of activists and media, city workers remove a statue of J. Marion Sims, a surgeon and medical pioneer in the field of gynecology, from its perch on the edge of Central Park on April 17, 2018 in Harlem, New York. Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images