Los Angeles

  • In Los Angeles, a group of ten Mexican-American women successfully sued the County Hospital for denying them informed consent.  These women, who only spoke Spanish, were coerced into signing consent forms in English, while some were in labor and others were under anesthesia.  Since the successful settlement of this case, the L.A. County Hospital has become squeaky clean when it comes to following sterilization guidelines. (Krase 1996)
  • At L.A. County Hospital, for example, some women were routinely asked during labor whether they wanted their tubes tied.[Rosenfeld, Wolfe, and McGarrah- 1973. “Health Research Group Study on Surgical Sterilization.” Health Research Group (Jan.): Washington, D.C.] (CCESA 1977)
  • In L.A. in 1975, 10 Chicana women sued L.A. County Hospital and state officials. One of the women had refused to give her consent to a sterilization. She was punched in the stomach by a doctor and then sterilized. Some of the women signed consent forms after being in labor for many hours and under heavy medication immediately prior to undergoing childbirth by caesarian sections. Two were led to believe that the consent forms they signed were for temporary sterilizations. One of the women was not aware that a sterilization had been performed and wore an intrauterine device for 2 years afterwards.[Foner, Laura and Evelyn Machtinger. 1976. “Sterilization.” New American Movement (June)] (CCESA 1977)


Chicago Committee to End Sterilization Abuse. 1977. “Sterilization Abuse: A Task for the Women’s Movement”(January-1977). Available online: Accessed: November 20, 2007.

Krase, Katherine. 1996. “Organizing for Change: Sterilization Abuse.” First published in the Jan/Feb 1996 newsletter of the National Women’s Health Network. Available online at the Our Bodies Ourselves Health Resource Center. <http://www.ourbodiesourselves.org/book/companion.asp?id=32&compID=55&page=1&gt; Accessed: November 19, 2007.

~ by Serena on November 19, 2007.

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