Our Long, Troubling History of Sterilizing the Incarcerated
The Marshall Project
July 26, 2017

“In 1907, Indiana became the first state to pass a law allowing for the compulsory sterilization of ‘confirmed criminals,’ ‘idiots,’ ‘imbeciles’ and ‘rapists.’ As a result, hundreds of men held in Indiana prisons were given vasectomies. Henry Sharp, the doctor who performed the procedures, argued before the National Prison Association in defense of the practice: ‘We owe it not only to ourselves, but to the future of our race and nation, to see that the defective and diseased do not multiply.’”

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