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Letters: Eugenics in America's past

May 19, 2012

Re "A crime against motherhood," Opinion, May 14

To my horror, I just read that the namesake of my local high school, David Starr Jordan, was a leading eugenicist who "promoted compulsory sterilization legislation across the United States."

Op-Ed article writer Nilmini Gunaratne Rubin implores that more be done to compensate victims of forced sterilization. I would imagine it is a terrible slap in the face to victims such as the author (who never had a sibling) and her mother to know that there are still schools named after perpetrators of these monstrous crimes against humanity.

I suggest the renaming of these schools as not only a form of apology but an act of contrition.

Jenni Gomez

Long Beach

The medical reasons for hysterectomies are well defined; they are performed after informed consent. Emergency hysterectomies without patient consent are performed only when there is imminent danger to a woman's life.

Mercifully, forced sterilization for eugenics reasons is no longer performed. But the 1927U.S. Supreme Courtdecision in Buck vs. Bell, which affirmed such operations, is still on the books. This practice needs to be made unlawful and the Supreme Court decision needs to be reversed. For a country that preaches women's rights around the world, anything less would be hypocrisy.

Mohan Kumaratne, MD

Huntington Beach

My jaw hit the ground when I read this article.

I am stunned that something this horrifying was so widespread and even endorsed by our Supreme Court.

There's a generation of us that doesn't know about this; let's do more to get it out in the open.

Marta Allen

West Covina

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