sterilization | St. Louis Public Radio


Commentary: U.S. and eugenics

Dec 12, 2011

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 12, 2011 - I have long intrigued students with the fact that our eugenics practices preceded those of Nazi Germany. I knew enough of the movement to understand that in the early 1900s many states were confident that acts, such as sterilization, were appropriate methods of "protecting" our society. The practice was fueled by the belief that undesirable traits such as poverty, promiscuity and alcoholism are inherited. The trouble is that such labels were loaded and intersected with negative beliefs about immigrants, African Americans and Native Americans.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The John Cochran Veterans Affairs Medical Center has canceled all surgeries until further notice after discovering that some surgical equipment may not have been properly sterilized.