Utah is searching for survivors of forced sterilization in the state to apologize

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On Wednesday, a study in The Lancet Regional Health – Americas by researchers at the University of Utah estimated that 830 people were sterilized against their will by the state of Utah between 1925 and 1974. Victims were targeted if they were considered “sexual deviant” or “habitually sexual criminal, insane, idiotic, demented, demented, or epileptic.” A woman was sterilized for allegedly cheating on her husband on multiple occasions; another, a black man imprisoned for being an “accused homosexual.” Other victims were a rape victim and a woman who experienced a stillbirth; Many were teenagers and at least one was under 10 years old. The newspaper counts 54 people who were sterilized by the state and could still be alive today.

Despite these findings, the state government seems unwilling to provide material compensation for the survivors. The Salt Lake Grandstand Remarks that no Utah governor has ever publicly acknowledged this aspect of the state’s history. A spokesman for current Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R) did not respond to the tribune‘s request for comment. Cox’s office responded to a request for comment by notifying Jezebel to the State Department of Health and Human Services. In an opinion issued to Jezebel and The Tribune, said the department It is “in the process of identifying any surviving individuals who underwent these procedures.”

“We plan to personally apologize to everyone we can identify. While an apology cannot right the wrongs done, we recognize the importance of acknowledging and understanding this history so that we can learn from it and do better now and in the future.” The department also claimed that it had taken new measures to “focus on ensuring that a [disabled] person can live their life as independently as possible – including the option to get married or start a family, if that is what a person wants.”

There’s a glaring problem with Utah’s tepid apology to victims: It portrays non-consensual sterilization as a relic of the past. But per die tribunesince 2017, Utah judges have heard 11 forced sterilization cases and approved the sterilizations in 10 of those cases.

A spokesman for the department told Jezebel: “The first priority is to determine if there are still individuals living in the state affected by this inhumane practice so that we can formally and officially apologize.” that of the department “The search for survivors is at an early stage.” But “AAt the moment there are no further plans.”

For comparison, last January, California established a $4.5 million fund to provide reparations for survivors of forced sterilizations. California has allegedly made efforts to reach survivors and distribute funds, but at least the bill recognized the need for material compensation for victims. North Carolina And Virginia have also offered redress.

Last year, the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) and the Autistic Women and Nonbinary Network (AWN) released a report showing 31 states and the District of Columbia were affected continue to allow non-consensual sterilizations Targeting disabled and incarcerated people and migrants through policies that give judges considerable latitude in deciding whether or not someone can consent to sterilization. Both Utah and California are among these states.

Physicians in California between 1997 and 2013 sterilized around 1,400 prisoners. An ICE doctor is said to have only appeared in 2020 accidental hysterectomies about migrant women in a detention center in Georgia, also among the 31 states named in the report. And throughout Britney Spears’ conservatory from 2007 to 2021, she was testifies that she was forced to have an IUD even though she wanted to enlarge her family.

At least at the height of the eugenics movement in the US in the early 20th century 70,000 people 32 states have undergone involuntary sterilizations. This practice was legal because of the 1927 Supreme Court decision Buck versus Bell. But during World War II, most states abandoned their original compulsory sterilization laws in light of the direct links between eugenics and Nazism. According to the NWLC and AWN report, this only paved the way for “a new breed of compulsory sterilization laws” in most states that allowed judges to make these decisions.

In a conversation with Jezebel last year, Ma’ayan Anafi, senior counsel at the National Women’s Law Center, also addressed the issue of so-called gender, race and gender Disability-selective abortion bans, allow anti-abortion lawmakers to “claim that they are acting on behalf of people with disabilities and people of color.” In reality, Anafi said, they “really attack the reproductive rights of people with disabilities and people of color,” who are more likely to be singled out and harmed by these laws.

Laws allowing forced sterilizations are still widespread today. Survivors are staying too, and in Utah they are being offered basic necessities while the horrific practice continues.

https://jezebel.com/utah-is-searching-for-forced-sterilization-survivors-in-1850124028 Utah is searching for survivors of forced sterilization in the state to apologize

Adam Bradshaw

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