A4 R - Misra 1 Ayesha Misra Professor Navarro Writing 140,...

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Misra 1 Ayesha Misra Professor Navarro Writing 140, SWMS 215 14 November 2011 Forced Sterilization (Rough) During the 20th Century, the U.S government sterilized thousands of Latina and Native American women against their will. These women had no choice and no voice. Who gave the United States government permission to invade women's bodies? Isn't a woman wonderfully and beautifully created? Isn't motherhood a beautiful experience regardless of race and class? Yet sterilization abuse is prevalent throughout American history. Soon after the United States had governance over Puerto Rico, officials claimed that the island was overpopulated. If the population continued to increase, they argued, the island would experience substantial social and economic turmoil. Does the government actually think that invading a women's body will decrease population rates and increase economic stability? In 1937, Law 116 exaggerated the need for a population control program, utilizing sterilization to maintain the birth rate as well as economic growth. This "theory" of sterilizing women to create a stable economic system proved false; the island continued to experience economic turmoil and still does to this day. The United States government outright denied women access to reproductive health services. Puerto Ricans lacked the proper information on alternatives aside from sterilization. The government tricked these women, cutting some without
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Misra 2 their consent or burning those who intended for their tubes to be tied. Dr. Helen Rodriguez-Trias, M.D., summarized the situation in Puerto Rico: "Women make choices based on alternatives, and there haven't been many alternatives in Puerto Rico." The government's most mischievous form of issuing sterilization was a door-to-door visit by health workers. Eventually in Puerto Rico, sterilization became known as "la operacion," giving it an infamous sound. In 1968, more than one-third of women didn't comprehend that sterilization through tubal ligation and tube tying was not just a form of contraception but an irreversible procedure. Puerto Rico wasn't the only country that suffered population control and forced sterilization. A law similar to Law 116 was also passed throughout 30 states in the U.S, legalizing the right to sterilize unwilling, insane, ill and ignorant people. This translated to the forced sterilization of low-income white, African American and Native American women. In the early 1970s, an estimated 100,000 to 150,000 low-income individuals were annually subjected to
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This note was uploaded on 04/01/2012 for the course WRIT 140 taught by Professor Alvandi during the Fall '07 term at USC.

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A4 R - Misra 1 Ayesha Misra Professor Navarro Writing 140,...

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