If the 11-hour filibuster over abortion rights in Texas counts as a step forward for women, the exposure of two California prisons that performed nearly 150 sterilizations on female inmates is a staggering lunge back.
The Center for Investigative Reporting released a story on Sunday, July 7 revealing that between 2006 and 2010, doctors hired by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation tied the tubes of 148 incarcerated women, some through coercive methods. Because it is against the law to fund inmate sterilization with federal money, the state of California paid for these procedures. All of the surgeries took place without their receiving mandated approval from the state. The doctors were paid just under $150,000 to do them.