Back in June, an eye-opening report by the California state auditor was released that suggested female prison inmates may have been unlawfully sterilized. Now, confirmation of these controversial allegations has surfaced.
A new report claims that from fiscal years 2005-06 to 2012-13, 144 female inmates in the California prison system underwent bilateral tubal ligations. Of those who had their tubes tied, 39 were made to do so illegally.
As reported by Filming Cops:
In 27 cases, the inmate’s physician – the individual who would perform the procedure in a hospital, or an alternate physician — did not sign the required consent form indicating the patient was of sound mind and understood the permanence of the operation.
For 18 of the 39 inmates, potential violations of the waiting period were noted between when the inmate consented to the procedure and when the sterilization surgery actually took place.
According to California state law, sterilization can only be carried out between 30 and 180 days from the time a woman agrees to the procedure, “to provide the patient with enough time to reflect on her choice and to make sure she desires sterilization.”
The auditors further found that in 12 instances in which medical staff sought approval for sterilization procedures, “less than a week elapsed between the date of the request and the date of the surgery.”
What’s more, in some cases physicians doctored the consent forms to show the necessary waiting period had passed even though it had not.
The audit also said the “true number” of illegal procedures might be higher, noting that it had found seven cases at one hospital for which health records were lost in a routine purging.
Folsom Women’s Facility, Central California Women’s Facility, Valley State Prison for Women and the California Institution for Women were identified as the prisons where the illegal bilateral tubal ligations had been carried out.
While law enforcement maintains that the sterilizations are a legitimate way of preventing women in the prison system from having offspring, who are likely to be victims of circumstance and end up in prison themselves, human rights groups are outraged over the procedures. Investigators for Justice Now reported that one woman was coerced into giving consent for a sterilization procedure while she was under anesthesia in preparation for a C-section. This inmate was one of many who gave birth in prison and were subsequently sterilized.
Let us know how you feel about these startling findings in the comments section!