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Uterus collectors: The case for reproductive justice for African American, Native American, and Hispanic American female victims of eugenics programs in the United States.

Authors
  • Smaw, Eric D1, 2
  • 1 Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida, USA.
  • 2 College of Medicine, Florida State University, Orlando, Florida, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Bioethics
Publication Date
Mar 01, 2022
Volume
36
Issue
3
Pages
318–327
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1111/bioe.12977
PMID: 34897765
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

In this article, I offer historical, jurisprudential, and moral analyses of racial eugenics campaigns against African American, Native American, and Hispanic American women. I argue that African American, Native American, and Hispanic American women were sterilized at a time in US history when doctors working for/with the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, the Indian Health Service, and Medicaid engaged in forced and coerced sterilizations with impunity. As a result, Black and Brown women did not have equal protection of the laws nor unimpeded access to the courts. Therefore, they had few options for protecting themselves from harm or redressing their grievances against the state. For these reasons, I conclude that African American, Native American, and Hispanic American women who were sterilized without their knowledge or consent by doctors working for public health agencies ought to be awarded reparations by the United States Congress. Additionally, I conclude that federal prosecutors and the American Medical Association ought to bring criminal charges and professional sanctions against the doctors and healthcare workers involved. Finally, I conclude that medical professionals ought to engage in a nationwide effort to reconcile people in Black and Brown communities with the healthcare community in the United States. © 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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