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An old poster depicting a group of women with the caption "stop forced sterilization"

In eugenics practice dating back decades, California forced thousands to undergo forced sterilizations. Many were poor and people of color. Moonlight Pulido, whose womb was removed in prison in 2005, shares her story.

For seven decades, the state of California sterilized more than 20,000 people deemed inferior and unworthy of having children. Most were private citizens. Some were prison inmates.

Moonlight Pulido is one of the latter, she says. The forced sterilization of female prisoners was not outlawed until 2014. The forced sterilization of private citizens wasn't outlawed until 1979.

What happened to Moonlight Pulido

She was 41 and an inmate at California's Valley State Prison for Women when Pulido says she underwent what she believed was a routine pap smear in 2005.

"They told me you have two growths that have the potential to turn into cancer," she tells Inside Edition Digital. "It kind of scared me because my son had cancer, and radiation didn't work ... The doctor offered surgery, so I went ahead and told the doctor to remove the growths," she says

She was hospitalized for three...