Between 1909 and 1979, California forcibly sterilized over 20,000 people of color, people with disabilities and imprisoned people. Based on white supremacist eugenics laws and ableist conceptions of who was “unfit to reproduce,” people with disabilities and women of color suffered forced sterilization. While the state’s eugenics laws were officially repealed in 1979, advocates working in California’s women’s prisons in the early 2000s uncovered continued coercive sterilizations occurring inside the prisons which targeted women and transgender and gender-nonconforming people of color.
For the third year in a row, the California Coalition for Women Prisoners is co-sponsoring legislation, AB 1007, introduced by Assemblywoman Wendy Carrilo, to provide compensation and reparations to survivors of forced sterilizations in the women’s prisons. The two other co-sponsors are California Latinas for Reproductive Justice and Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund. This important legislation has failed to win budgetary approval in the past. This year, we are hopeful that with increased public awareness and pressure, California will finally be held accountable for this horrific form of racist and gendered state violence.
A state audit conducted in... see more