Hysterectomy is one of the most common surgeries performed in the 20th century on U.S. women. Numerous Black native American girls and women faced sterilization without their consent. The “eugenic movement” was spreading rapidly in the United States. As a result, thousands of poor, black, and undesired Americans undergone the process of sterilization. The partnership between the American government, medical officials, and lawmakers imposed this annihilation by Hysterectomy.
Ways of Sterilizing Black Women
This medical racism wholly altered the lives of countless women.
Many medical officials performed the Hysterectomy on black women without knowing them or by compelling them to take this invasive step. As most of the black women were unaware of the procedure of Hysterectomy, they fell victim to this controversy unknowingly. Since they visit hospitals for a standard surgical procedure, they find out afterward that they’d undergone sterilization. Also, they signed permission letters or documents for making them unproductive in ignorance. The purpose was to reduce black reproduction as Americans always considered them “unwanted” and inferior.
“America has always viewed unregulated Black reproduction as dangerous. For three centuries, Black mothers pass down to their offspring, the traits that marked them as inferior to any white person. Along with this biological impairment, Black mothers transfer a deviant lifestyle to their children that doom each succeeding generation to a life of poverty, delinquency, and despair. A persistent objective of American social policy has been to monitor and restrain this corrupting tendency of Black motherhood.” Said “Dorothy E. Roberts” in her book “Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty.”
Purpose of Sterilizing Women
The thought of reducing population and poverty snatched the reproductive rights of thousands of Puerto Rican women. So, Government officials thought that the economy and unemployment rate of the Island would dramatically improve by taking such an invasive step.
Racial Differences relating Hysterectomy
There had been a rapid increase in Hysterectomy among black women as compared to stable rates among white women. So, it indicates that this spread of Hysterectomy was a race-specific phenomenon.
Kessel, Michelle, and Jessica Hopper. “Victims speak out about the North Carolina sterilization program, which targeted women, young girls, and blacks.” Rock Center, NBC News, November 7, 2011.
Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, federally funded welfare state programs supported the sterilization of numerous poor black women. So, many helpless women consented to Hysterectomy under the threat of negation of social benefits and medical care. Also, sterilizing black women unnecessarily without there consent became common practice within southern black communities.
The Ratio of Hysterectomy among Black Women and White Women
Investigating racial differences of coercive annihilating by Hysterectomy is essential. The ratio of Hysterectomy in Black women is disproportional and higher. According to data analysis of 2012, Hysterectomy among black women aged 48-50 years is 33%. While in White women of this age, this ratio is 23%. Further, the 20th-century eugenics program of Hysterectomy also targeted women of color and poor women.
Black race and Hysterectomy remained interwoven for almost three centuries in America. As a result, sterilized women suffered greatly, and countless families faced destruction.