Nearly 150 female prisoners have been sterilized over a five-year period without the required approval of a California medical committee, a newspaper reported Sunday.
Dozens of female inmates received tubal ligations that hadn't been approved and some said they felt coerced to undergo the surgery, although they signed a written consent. Ten women claim they were sterilized improperly in other procedures, including having their ovaries removed, the Los Angeles Times reports.
"Pressuring a vulnerable population — including at least one documented instance of a patient under sedation — to undergo these extreme procedures erodes the ban on eugenics," the California Legislative Women's Caucus wrote in a letter to the federal receiver in charge of prison healthcare.
The unauthorized sterilization involved inmates from the California Institution for Women in Corona and Valley State Prison in Chowchilla.