Alexandra Minna Stern photo

California's Sterilization Survivors: An Estimate and Call for Redress

Publication Abstract

Stern, Alexandra Minna, Nicole Novak, Natalie Lira, Kate O'Connor, Sioban D. Harlow, and Sharon L. R. Kardia. 2017. "California's Sterilization Survivors: An Estimate and Call for Redress." American Journal of Public Health, 107(1): 50-54.

From 1919 to 1952, approximately 20 000 individuals were sterilized in California's state institutions on the basis of eugenic laws that sought to control the reproductive capacity of people labeled unfit and defective.

Using data from more than 19 000 sterilization recommendations processed by state institutions over this 33-year period, we provide the most accurate estimate of living sterilization survivors. As of 2016, we estimate that as many as 831 individuals, with an average age of 87.9 years, are alive.

We suggest that California emulate North Carolina and Virginia, states that maintained similar sterilization programs and recently have approved monetary compensation for victims. We discuss the societal obligation for redress of this historical injustice and recommend that California seriously consider reparations and full accountability.

10.2105/AJPH.2016.303489

Country of focus: United States of America.

Browse | Search | Books | Next

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Barbara Anderson comments in NYT on Federal Law that protects citizenship status data from distribution by the Census Bureau

Anderson discusses impact of Administration's ongoing pursuit of Citizenship information around the 2020 Census with Michigan Radio

Burgard correlates job insecurity higher with negative overall health and depression than the impact of job loss and regain

More News

Highlights

Colter Mitchell receives Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)

Frey receives 2019 ASA Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award

More Highlights


Connect with PSC follow PSC on Twitter Like PSC on Facebook