Female inmates sterilised in California prisons without approval

Doctors under contract with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation sterilised nearly 150 female inmates from 2006 to 2010 without required state approvals, the Centre for Investigative Reporting has found.

At least 148 women received tubal ligations in violation of prison rules during those five years — and there are 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 sterilised.

I was like, ‘Oh my God, that’s not right,’ said Nguyen, 28. Do they think they’re animals, and they don’t want them to breed anymore? — via redwolf.newsvine.com

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