Today we visit one of the grimmest alleys of history — Forced Sterilization.
This was the act of taking away someone’s ability to have a child, and there was nary a shred of consent. Some survivors say they were told that they were going into surgery for unrelated operations, like an appendix removal.
These actions were but a part of the larger eugenics movement, which aimed to contain procreation in people-of-colour communities — since they were seen as “inferior.”
The abuse of sterilization procedures, which was institutionalized as public policy, led to over 65,000 sterilizations in 33 states that was mainly targeted at Black and Latino women in the U.S.
Canada wasn’t an exception.
The forced sterilization of women and some men in Canada started early in the 19th century and the Alberta Sexual Sterilization Act, established in 1928, was only eradicated in 1972.
Body autonomy was and is still a major topic of global debate. When can we truly own ourselves?
Here’s a list of some “undesirable” traits that called for sterilization in Canadians:
- Being an immigrant
- Having a disability
- Being a victim of abuse
- Having a mental illness
- Being a person of colour
- Being aboriginal
- Being an unwed mother