Following a report by the Center for Investigative Journalism that female inmates in California prisons were coerced into being sterilized, Governor Jerry Brown has signed SB 1135 making the practice illegal. California’s Legislative Women’s Caucus was outraged upon reading of the unapproved tubal ligations and requested the state auditor examine prison records in an audit, which found from 2006-2013, of the 144 sterilization procedures done, 30 percent had no lawful consent. Women’s Caucus Chair Bonnie Lowenthal, an assemblymember from Long Beach, coauthored the bill with Santa Barbara’s State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson. “Pressuring a vulnerable population into making permanent reproductive choices without informed consent is unacceptable, and violates our most basic human rights,” said Jackson in a press release from her office. “This bill will help ensure that forced or coerced sterilizations never occur in our jails and prisons.” The senator will head the Legislative Women’s Caucus this coming year.


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