The following comes from a story published by Channel 10 News in Sacramento on July 10.
Doctors under contract with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation sterilized nearly 150 female inmates from 2006 to 2010 without required state approvals, the Center for Investigative Reporting has found.
At least 148 women received tubal ligations in violation of prison rules during those five years – and there were perhaps 100 more dating back to the late 1990s, according to state documents and interviews.
From 1997 to 2010, the state paid doctors $147,460 to perform the procedure, according to a database of contracted medical services for state prisoners.
The women were signed up for the surgery while they were pregnant and housed at either the California Institution for Women in Corona or Valley State Prison for Women in Chowchilla, which is now a men’s prison.
Former inmates and prisoner advocates maintain that prison medical staff coerced the women, targeting those deemed likely to return to prison in the future.
Crystal Nguyen, a former Valley State Prison inmate who worked in the prison’s infirmary during 2007, said she often overheard medical staff asking inmates who had served multiple prison terms to agree to be sterilized.
“I was like, ‘Oh my God, that’s not right,’ ” Nguyen, 28, said. “Do they think they’re animals, and they don’t want them to breed anymore?”
One former Valley State inmate who gave birth to a son in October 2006 said the institution’s OB-GYN, Dr. James Heinrich, repeatedly pressured her to agree to a tubal ligation.
“As soon as he found out that I had five kids, he suggested that I look into getting it done. The closer I got to my due date, the more he talked about it,” said Christina Cordero, 34, who spent two years in prison for auto theft. “He made me feel like a bad mother if I didn’t do it.”
Cordero, released in 2008 and now living in Upland, Calif., agreed, but she says, “today, I wish I would have never had it done.”
The allegations echo those made nearly a half-century ago, when forced sterilizations of prisoners, the mentally ill and the poor were commonplace in California. State lawmakers officially banned such practices in 1979.
During an interview with the Center for Investigative Reporting, Heinrich said he provided an important service to poor women who faced health risks in future pregnancies because of past cesarean sections. The 69-year-old Bay Area physician denied pressuring anyone and expressed surprise that local contract doctors had charged for the surgeries. He described the $147,460 total as minimal.
“Over a 10-year period, that isn’t a huge amount of money,” Heinrich said, “compared to what you save in welfare paying for these unwanted children – as they procreated more.”
The top medical manager at Valley State Prison from 2005 to 2008 characterized the surgeries as an empowerment issue for female inmates, providing them the same options as women on the outside. Daun Martin, a licensed psychologist, also claimed that some pregnant women, particularly those on drugs or who were homeless, would commit crimes so they could return to prison for better health care.
To read entire story, click here.
Margaret Sanger would have “liked” this story.
While doing outreach to pregnant mothers outside abortion facilities (killing centers), I’ve witnessed county sheriffs escorting female prisoners to them.
Let me say for the record that contraception and voluntary sterilization are mortal sins.
However, from the article, it is difficult to know whether these women made their own decisions or not. It has not been proven that anything was done without their full knowledge and agreement.
On a separate topic – convicted female criminals – are BAD mothers.
They choose their crimes and the resulting consequences (jail) over staying with their children and taking care of them.
“For where your treasure is, there will be your heart also.” Mt 6:21.
All US citizens have access to welfare, housing vouchers, food stamps, etc. Children get free meals at schools. There is no excuse for crime.
All non citizens convicted of crimes should be immediately deported to their own Countries as soon as their sentence has been served.
Apparently sins by some are more mortal than others…
Answer venial sins and mortal sins…
It is my understanding that doctors encouraging sterilization is a commonplace occurrence outside the prison, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that it is happening in prison. Those ObGyns who refuse to prescribe contraception and provide tubal ligations are seen as kooks by the majority of their colleagues. In addition, doctors are still looked up to as knowing best by the general public. After all, they have years and years of training. When we have a medical community with a warped conscious, then the public is truly in danger.
What do you know about the wonderful Nazii Doctors such as Mengelee?
God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
I don’t know how to feel about this article….I just saw a report on tv about women in prison having lesbian relationships and forcing other women to have them as well. Sin complicates things that is for sure and children mixed in with such lifestyles of any kind that are very sinful usually lead more children to be abused, mistreated or even killed. No one wins…..Sin…..I hate sin!
Both Abeca and Linda B. admit to mixed feelings about these sterilizations. Linda wonders if they they were actually done unvoluntarily and asserts the women’s unfitness for motherhood, Abeca joins her while speculating on the prisoners’ sinfulness.
What sad statements to be coming from women who are Pro-Life, both comments are one of a piece with every “personally opposed, but…” rationalization we hear from nearly every politician.
California leads the nation in publicly-funded abortions and sterilizations. Surely the law requiring specific approval for sterilization of the incarcerated represents one of the few remaining restrictions in this state, yet the publication of the news that this remaining impediment has been ignored – even in a paper circulated among the most committed members of the pro-life movement – triggers sympathy, not outrage.
The State is using the overwhelming coercive power it holds as Jailer to sterilize the vulnerable who depend completely upon it for thier care. For now, the State is acting against its own rules. Given the political power in California, we can be assured that this rule will soon be changed. No doubt when the article detailing that is published, there will be more comments, more outrage, and fewer reservations.
Brian S since you think you know what I was saying and decided to interpret before asking me….why don’t you tell them as well what else I think since you seem to think you know it all….just saying…..I am to ill to break it to you or try to correct you because I am consumed with disbelieve how you decided to use me for whatever you were trying to convey….now that is sad to me….
I am reminded of when my sisters decided to attack my convictions, it’s interesting how the show “leaving Amish” came to comparing my Catholic faith as how I live it. As if they were trying to get my kids to leave the faith because they thought we were raising our kids too out of the norm comparing to how this world wants us to raise them. All the years that I grew up with them, one would think that they would know me because we were raised the same but for some reason, they swayed from many of the church teachings and now label me as rigid and strict as the Amish. Wow…..I’m the cool mum who loves surfing, who understands teens and even listens to their music as long as their is no offensive lyrics but nope…my sisters seem to think me rigid. Well it’s the liberal mentality folks…..now I go on here (same day as when my sister compared me to the Amish) I read up Brian S comments and now I am flabbergasted….I refuse to defend myself….I didn’t with my liberals sisters and now I won’t here…..the good Lord knows me better….My loyalty is to Him, and if my human capacity can’t reason well on all great evils of this world and injustices well then …I have no power over them….I can only hope to remain faithful to Him without judging what I am not authorized to judge but to leave in His hands….
SIN Complicates things….I hate sin! Scandal does a lot of harm…causing more confusion….
Abeca, you stated that you “didn’t know how to feel” about the article. I described that as admitting to “mixed feelings”. No interpretation was required by me for that! You even went on to say that sinners having children “usually lead more children to be abused, mistreated or … killed”, a statement that is straight out of Margart Sanger!
So what was I was trying to convey? I don’t that is a mystery. Obviously, the mistreatment of criminals, even the forced sterilization of prisoners, doesn’t rate highly among CCD readers’ concerns. Certainly not compared to some rhetorical bomb-thrower denied a church platform, regrets of a gay porn actor, or the awfulness of Jerry Brown, all articles that have attracted more comment than this one. The lack of concern and the “yes, but” response you provided makes me think that abortion and contraception aren’t as big a concern to many here as is often claimed.
OK in all fairness but you mixed me in with LINDA B, as if we were both having the same sentiments (which in fairness to her, I didn’t conclude the same as you have about her comments, I thought she was conveying to us readers to remain faithful to church teachings) and I also read what you replied to her…making me think….hmmmm OK what is he trying to insinuate?
Its true that i said I didn’t know how to feel but it did not mean I was condoning a negative feeling against church teachings. I seek to only be like minded with the church on this as well, human wise, I don’t know how to feel about it because like the speck that I am, I don’t understand the complicity of leading up to those sins and what they produce and their outcomes and I was trying to form my conscience to it with trying to gain more information but as always as I try to form my conscience, I seek to form in union with Christ.
So yes you found me weak and vulnerable and am not too proud to admit that I don’t hold all answers and that is because sin complicates things…I hate sin because it suffers our relationship with our Lord, that is the main reason.
Thanks for your time Brian S..I really appreciate you not taking offense to my comments and replying to me….I hope I too was fair in replying to you…God bless you and my prayers are with you and all here especially when we are in the same boat…souls searching in the truth and for us to have a zeal to be one with/in Christ.
Brian S. it does seem as if this state is headed for forced sterilization of prisoners, but we could not even get Prop 4 voted in in this state, so we could have a law protecting minors from being coerced to have abortions without parental noticfication, so this does not come as a surprise, although it is very wrong. Our state has “gone down the tubes” to put it bluntly.
And most Californians do not seem to care.
Forced sterilization by the state or anyone else is the moral equivalent of murder, and something even worse: playing God with the lives of others. Only God is God.
Which article of the Bill of Rights forbids “cruel and unusual punishment”?
Skai you taking this to a different direction in which Maryanne may not want to go to…I say this because sometimes we just don’t need to make all comments too difficult or too much in depth of area’s in which the poster did not mean it to go in? Such depth you have with things….certainty a gift but sometimes it can drain simplicity and simplicity isn’t always requiring that depth perhaps?
Ok, I’ll bite…the 8th Amendment. What is your point?