Contemporary practices of sterilization in Australia

As a follow up to the post in the first link below, here is a list of further related links on those wanting to know more.  Thanks to a helpful anonymous reader of the What Sorts blog who provided most of the links below but who doesn’t wish to be identified.  Folks in Oz: let us know if you have more information, are undertaking action, whatever.

Forced sterilization and disability in Australia

From a “better babies” competition, 1913

 

A Senate committee was recently established in Australia to review existing law and social policy concerning the sterilization of people with disabilities.

http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate_Committees?url=clac_ctte/forced_sterilisation/info.htm

It seems that the inquiry is a response to public response (surprise? outrage?) to finding out that this practice continues in Australia under state and territorial legislation, and beyond it.

I suspect that the commission will find that Continue reading

Sweden Moves to End Forced Sterilization of Transgender People

Sweden, “one of 17 [countries] in the European Union,” may soon change a law that requires transgendered people to become sexually sterilized if they decide to officially change gender.  Sweden has made moves to repeal the law in January, only to be stopped by the Christian Democrat Party.  However, this party has recently changed their mind, allowing the repeal to go through.

http://motherjones.com/mojo/2012/02/sweden-moves-to-end-forced-sterilization-transgender-people

This move was partially in thanks to an online petition, by AllOut (http://allout.org/en/actions/stop_forced_sterilization), which gained 80,000 international signatures to repeal the law.  However, the date for repealing the law is still pending.

Countries that still require sterilization include France, Italy, Romania, Poland, Greece, and Portugal.  For a map outlining the current status of European sterilization, you can link here: http://motherjones.com/mojo/2012/02/most-european-countries-force-sterilization-transgender-people-map

North Carolina Eugenics Task Force, Preliminary Report

The preliminary report of The Governor’s Task Force to Determine the Method of Compensation for Victims of North Carolina’s Eugenics Board (available beneath the fold) was delivered today. In it, North Carolina State Representative Larry Womble says, at the final meeting of the committee, held three weeks ago:

Eugenics [is] a fancy name for sterilization. I am very compassionate about this issue and have worked on it for 10 years. If I’ve been involved for 10 years, what do you think about the victims themselves and it is a shame and disgrace what has happened to them. I thank the Task Force for all their work. But at the same time, I cannot be timid about this, I can’t be Mille mouthed. I cannot be cute about this because it’s not a cute and nice subject. We did to humans what we do to animals, we spade and neuter animals not people. And we did this to children 10 and 11 and 12 years old, they were not criminals, they did nothing wrong. We talk about we are the land the free and the home of the brave and when we do this to children and I’m wondering how sincere we really are. Continue reading

Living Archives: Inaugural Events

The 5-year project, Living Archives on Eugenics in Western Canada will launch its public face with some inaugural events in Edmonton at the end of this week.  All events are free and open to the public, and we welcome community and university members, individuals and organizations.

We start on Friday 22nd October, 2010, with a keynote address by Professor Douglas Wahlsten at the Telus Centre on the campus of the University of Alberta, at 7pm, entitled “Eugenics in Alberta: Science and Politics”.  The talk is in Room 150, doors open at 6:30 and a reception will follow.

Events on Saturday October 23, 2010 take place on the lower floor of the Stanley Milner Library located opposite Churchill Square in Edmonton.  We will be downstairs in the Edmonton Room, with coffee and snacks available at 9.45am and the first session starting at 10.00am.  Members of the public are also welcome to attend a short meeting of the governing board, which will begin at 9.00am in the same location.  The Saturday events include:

  • Dick Sobsey & Heidi Janz “Picturing Eugenics: Telling the Story of Eugenics Through Alternative Communication”
  • Erika Dyck, “Building a People’s History of Eugenics: Archives Past and Present”
  • Gregor Wolbring, “Dynamics Around Eugenic Acceptance and Rejection: Lesson for the Future”
  • Claudia Malacrida, “Creating an Oral History of Eugenics Questions of Scope, Ethics and Access”

To register for the free lunch or request disability accommodations, please contact moyra@ualberta.ca or register directly at http://www.whatsorts.net/register/.  You can also get updated information at http://www.whatsorts.net Continue reading

“Project Prevention”

The story below by Nick Collins is from the Sydney Morning Herald; h/t Peter Chen.

What year is it?  From what they’re doing, you might think 1910, rather than 2010.  And from the name of the project, you might think  1984.  See also the earlier BBC News story, from February 2010, “Should drug addicts be paid to get sterilised?”

Charity pays addict $320 to have a vasectomy

Nick Collins

October 19, 2010

LONDON: A drug addict has become the first person in Britain to be sterilised in exchange for cash under a new project.

The man, known as John, who has been addicted to heroin for 15 years, was given £200 ($320) by a US charity to have a vasectomy.  Project Prevention, the charity running the scheme, has made similar payments to thousands of men and women in the US in a campaign to prevent them having children who may inherit their addictions. //

The 38-year-old man said he had been involved with drugs since age 11 or 12 and that the offer of money had prompted him to have the operation.  ”It was kind of what spurred me into doing it in a way. It was something that I’d been thinking about for a long time and something that I’d already made my mind up that I wanted to do. Just hadn’t got around to it.”  The charity began offering the cash incentive to British addicts after paying 3500 Americans to be sterilised.

You can read the full story here, and an earlier story on passing the 3000th person milestone, back in April 2009, over here. There is also a Facebook group, “No to eugenics in the UK! Keep Project Prevention Out of the UK“.  You can also see how Project Prevention presents itself on its website; it is a 501(c) registered charity in the US.