Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Community News Network

July 8, 2013

California prisons illegally sterilizing female inmates as recently as 2010

(Continued)

NEW YORK —

The top medical manager at Valley State Prison from 2005 to 2008 characterized the surgeries as an empowerment issue for female inmates, providing them the same options as women on the outside. Daun Martin, a licensed psychologist, also claimed that some pregnant women, particularly those on drugs or who were homeless, would commit crimes so they could return to prison for better health care.

"Do I criticize those women for manipulating the system because they're pregnant? Absolutely not," Martin, 73, said. "But I don't think it should happen. And I'd like to find ways to decrease that."

Any comment that implies that certain kinds of people don't yearn for freedom should be viewed with suspicion, but especially under the circumstances. After all, as CIR reports, U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson of the Northern District of California ruled in 2006 that the health care system in the area prisons was so bad it constituted a human rights violation. The claim that women are routinely trading in their freedom and their families just to get access to such a shoddy level of care is pretty hard to swallow.

Incarcerated women deserve to have access to contraception, of course, and plenty of women are interested in long-term solutions. No one denies this, but CIR's report shows how "access" can turn into "coercion" very quickly when the women in question are marginalized or imprisoned. The frustrating part is that California already has fail-safes to make sure that line is not crossed, but the rules only work if you actually bother to follow them.

Marcotte is a journalist, opinion writer, and author of two books on progressive politics.

Text Only
Community News Network
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites
Poll

Last weekend (July 12) the Goshen Parks Department held its Kid’s Try-athlon to promote childhood fitness and this week (July 18) the new bicycle trail is open to the fairgrounds in Goshen, offering residents a healthy way to get to the annual agriculture exposition. Have you joined the local fitness movement?

Yes, I work at eating healthy and exercising
No, I am happy with my fitness level
Changing my diet and exercise frequency is a work in progress
     View Results