Mississippi Appendectomies: Reliving Our Pro-Eugenics Past

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Recent accusations brought forth by immigrant detainees bring back to light the shadows of America’s pro-eugenic history.

In 1961, civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer received a hysterectomy by a white doctor without her consent while undergoing surgery to remove a uterine tumor. Forced sterilization of Black women was so widespread it was dubbed a “Mississippi appendectomy.” (Wikimedia Commons)

As Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination has stirred up conversations of what her confirmation could mean for reproductive rights, many women are raising their voices fearful of not being able to have control over their own reproductive health.

The collective heartache of our nation sustained a surprising and overwhelming insult this year. As we fight for our reproductive freedom, we must also advocate for those whose voices are frequently dismissed. 


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