Friday Feminist – Patricia J Williams

Cross posted

… I was reminded of a case I worked on when I was working for the Western Center on Law and Poverty about eight years earlier. Ten black Hispanic women had been sterilized by the University of Southern California – Los Angeles County General Medical Center, allegedly without proper consent, and in most instances without even their knowledge. Most of them found out what was done to them upon inquiry, after a much-publicized news story in which an intern charged that the chief of obstetrics at the hospital pursued a policy of recommending Caesarian delivery and simultaneous sterilization for any pregnant woman with three or more children and who was on welfare. In the course of researching the appeal in that case, I remember learning that one-quarter of all Navajo women of childbearing age – literally all thsoe of childbearing age ever admitted to a hospital – have been sterilized.

Patricia J Williams, “On being the object of property”, Signs (1988), pp. 5 – 24.

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