Last week, we published STERILIZED, Reporter Jess Engebretson’s disturbing story of Rose Brooks and Lewis Reynolds, two of more than 60,000 men and women forcibly sterilized in the United States by doctors working in state hospitals. The doctors and nurses who performed the vasectomies and salpingectomies weren’t breaking the law.
Throughout the 20th Century, state legislators passed laws that allowed these surgical procedures. It was all part of the early 20th century eugenics movement. But, you might ask, how could this happen? How could the law deny tens of thousands of men and women the right to have children?
Life of the Law invited scholars who have studied eugenics to join us in the studios at KQED in San Francisco to talk about eugenics, past and present.
Osagie Obasogie is Professor of Law at UC Hastings San Francisco, author of Blinded by Sight.
Marcy Darnovsky is Executive Director at the Center for Genetics and Society in Berkeley.
Alexandra Minna Stern is Professor of American Culture at the University of Michigan.
Milton Reynolds is Senior Program Associate at Facing History and Ourselves.
This Bonus Episode was produced by Nancy Mullane and Jonathan Hirsch. Special thanks to Osagie Obasogie, Marcy Darnovsky, Alexandra Minna Stern, and Milton Reynolds for their contribution to this production.
- Eugenics in California: A Legacy of the Past? 2012 conference at UC Berkeley Law [with link to video]
- Compilation of news articles and commentary about eugenics
- Links to Professor Obasogie’s work can be found here: http://libraryweb.uchastings.edu/library/bibliographies/faculty/Osagie-K.-Obasogie/
- The Eugenics Legacy of the Nobelist Who Fathered IVF by Osagie K. Obasagie, Scientific American, October 4th, 2013
- The perils of human gene editing for reproduction by Marcy Darnovsky, Washington Examiner, March 8th, 2016
- Future Past: Disability, Eugenics, and Brave New Worlds 2013 conference at SF State
- Eugenic Sterilization Laws by Paul Lombardo, University of Virginia
- Three Generations, No Imbeciles: Eugenics, the Supreme Court and Buck v Bell by Paul Lombardo
- Disability, Eugenics and the Culture Wars, by Paul Lombardo
- NY Times Book Reviews 3/20, 2016: Imbeciles, The Supreme Court, American Eugenics and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck, by Adam Cohen and Illiberal Reformers, Race, Eugenics and American Economics in the Progressive Era By Thomas C. Leonard
- Eugenic Nation: Faults and Frontiers of Better Breeding in Modern America by Alexandra Minna Stern
- “When California Sterilized 20,000 of its Citizens,” by Alexandra Minna Stern
- Eugenics: Compulsory Sterilization in 50 American States
- Race and Membership in American History: The Eugenics Movement
- Eugenics, Race and Marriage
- From Theory to Classroom: Eugenics and Education
Rob Wilson Interviewed by Milton Reynolds: Online Conversation about Surviving Eugenics
Dorothy Roberts and Jonathan Marks Online Conversation about Nicholas Wade’s new book “A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race, and Human History”, and the endurance of scientific racism.
Alexandra Minna Stern and Corey Johnson Online Conversationabout sterilization abuse in California in the 20th and 21st centuries
This episode of Life of the Law was funded in part by grants from the Open Society Foundation, the Law and Society Association, the Proteus Fund, the Ford Foundation, and the National Science Foundation.
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