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Forced Sterilization: One of Our Country's Favorite Hobbies

Clarissa Poston

Posted on February 19, 2021 19:08

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The United States has a horrendous track record when it comes to its treatment of women. One would like to think that our nation has made progress; however, as recent events have shown, this is not entirely the case.

Our country has a horrible habit of forcing sterilization upon women. Due to how developed our country has become, I had imagined this habit as being one that would only be found in the past. This, however, is far from the truth.

For background, Shawn Burn wrote in Women Across Cultures that our country forced sterilization upon approximately 3,000 women of Native American descent. This event occurred in the 1970s, alongside the forced sterilization of "Mexican immigrant women, African American women, and Puerto Rican women." The basis for these sterilizations, however, is equally despicable. In the simplest of terms, our country specifically chose these demographics because they were deemed as "undesirable."

Not only did these sterilizations deem these women "useless" in terms of reproduction, but they also stripped away their rights of both reproductive choice and reproductive health. Women in our country have always had to fight for our rights, and the right to reproductive choice and health is something we haven't yet received in full. Women around the nation are still prevented from making their own decisions revolving around their reproductive nature. In some instances, which are more common than one would think, women are prevented from obtaining birth control, receiving abortions, or even voluntarily undergoing sterilization due to male partners, religious groups, and a number of other outside influences.

I find it difficult to display "patriotism" and "love for our country," as I know that the United States would not emit the same emotions for me. I am a woman, and, clearly, my gender does not mean much to those on higher pedestals. Not one part of me truly understands how our country can preach equality when it is so evidently invisible. How am I expected to love our country when it doesn't love those of my gender? How am I expected to be "okay" with the fact that our country is forcibly taking away the reproductive rights of women around the nation? To answer simply, I cannot love our country nor am I okay with turning a blind eye to the blatant genocide taking place within it.

In September of 2020, an article was posted regarding accusations against ICE. The article stated that, once more, the United States was partaking in forced sterilization. However, this time the focus was placed solely on the female immigrants detained by ICE. These women were put through "unnecessary hysterectomies" which then prevents them from ever bearing children. These sterilizations, according to the above article, fit the criteria of the "International Criminal Court's definition of genocide." Also mentioned in the article are forced sterilizations in California prisons and a Tennessee judge who traded shorter sentences for an agreement to sterilization.

In learning all of this information, I have become increasingly disgusted with our country. It was hard enough to learn about the history of the United States, but I find it completely unbearable to learn that these incidents are not only in our past.

Clarissa Poston

Posted on February 19, 2021 19:08

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Source: The Hill
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