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  1. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    Modern Eugenics?

    Discussion in 'Debate Room' started by Burlbird, Apr 19, 2014.

    I'll let the article speak for itself

    http://tellmenow.com/2014/04/women-prisoners-sterilized-to-cut-welfare-costs-in-california/

     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    The only thing I want to ask/add/contribute to this conversation right now is to ask if the website hosting that story is a "real news" website or one of those "let's goof on current events" websites. My question is honest and sincere, snarkless and free of irony. I wish to know so as to gauge my continued wish to partake in this conversation. I've been burned before by taking seriously things from goof-news websites.
     
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  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    No, how about speaking for yourself, and using the link as a reference? I, for one, don't follow a link just because someone throws it in the air and points at it.

    Provide a reason to give a crap about the link.
     
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  4. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    @Wreybies nope, it's quite real... it's last years news, but I just stumbled upon the subject and was left speachless. ...the reason why I can't say anything decent to the other poster - I need reason to give a crap about his web habits :)

    http://bitchmagazine.org/post/california-prison-sterilize-women-reproductive-rights-investigation

    www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/08/california-female-prisoner-sterilization

    www.npr.org/2013/09/20/219366146/calif-seeks-answers-on-questionable-prison-sterilizations

    articles.latimes.com/2013/jul/14/local/la-me-prison-sterilization-20130714
     
  5. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    The fact those procedures still aren't illegal is the ultimate crime. But North America has a long standing history of experimentation on humans, what with the forced sterilisation of mentally disabled women in Canada all the way into the 1980s and the whole Tuskagee syphillis experiment debacle.

    Oh, and here's a link to the same story, from the more 'reputable' source (for those unwilling to follow dubious links) http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/08/california-female-prisoner-sterilization
     
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  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    how many male sterilization procedures were carried out during the same period of time?... and still being done today?
     
  7. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    @mammamaia:
    As everything else, this was also thwarted in misogyny.
     
  8. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    The OP news source is lousy reporting. Once you read the rest of the reports the truth as far as I can tell is:

    http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jul/14/local/la-me-prison-sterilization-20130714
    Considering the cost of lawsuits, I find it hard to believe saving later welfare costs was ever the motive of the state. It may have been one or more employees' or physicians' opinions.

    Historically this bigotry went on until the end of the 1979 according to the news articles. But the current offense appears to be inadequate controls to assure the surgery was voluntarily agreed to. As such, it should be immediately investigated and anyone who pressured or coerced women to make a decision should be fired or worse. If it turns out some women who did seek voluntary sterilization now have regrets, the employees should merely be disciplined for not following the medical committee approval they probably didn't know was in the law.

    The physicians who did the surgeries have different requirements. Informed consent is required for any surgery. It wouldn't surprise me if the surgeons didn't know about the medical committee law, but if they merely took the prison's word for itthe women wanted the surgeries, that in my opinion would be incompetence and malpractice. All too often people in prison get substandard care*.

    *(There is another side to that and sometimes prisoners get care they would not get if not incarcerated, (hopefully that will change with the ACA), in addition many health care providers that work in prisons do the very best they can.)
     
  9. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    In the past this was also common. What appears to be going on here doesn't necessarily match the photos of women lined up for surgery. I doubt those photos have anything whatsoever to do with the story. Consider this NPR (link above) witness account:
    That's her recollection, the surgeon may or may not have said exactly those words or the physician may have been careless in his question. She said no, and her tubes weren't tied. It's very common, actually routine, to ask women getting a C-section if they want a tubal while the belly is open.

    It's very likely these women didn't get adequate prenatal counseling regarding tubals, but you also need to consider some C-sections are not planned or known to be necessary ahead of time. So you have a pregnant prisoner who goes into labor in jail, chances are good the surgeon didn't provide the prenatal care, in fact, chances are good the prenatal care was provided by a group of providers and the pregnant inmate saw whoever was working the day they were due for a checkup. A surgeon the patient has never met might see the patient for the first time when an emergency C-section was called for.

    Someone, maybe lawyers with $$ in their eyes, or maybe women who did indeed feel pressured with a last minute question, "the pregnancy was dangerous, you should get a tubal while your belly is open" are behind the complaints. But it is unfortunate an emergency decision, and/or prison staff and physicians not aware of a law or not believing there wasn't time for said committee, should be reported as this bullshit that someone of any authority in the State of California was trying to save future welfare payments.

    That, IMO, is unethical, perhaps ignorant, provocative reporting with its own agenda.
     
  10. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    @GingerCoffee I agree with you on the low quality of available texts (clear sensationalism of TellMeNow is more obvious with articles on deers who hate Obama or something like that :D) But the actual investigation by Carey Johnson seems like a better start - just because something gets hijacked by crap media doesn't mean it's utter crap by itself :)
    cironline.org/reports/female-inmates-sterilized-california-prisons-without-approval-4917

    This is what makes me shiver. And the usage of the word "breeding" when applied to humans. Which I know is horribly humanocentric. :)
     
  11. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Consider a couple things. Sterilizing a couple hundred inmates is not going to save CA a significant amount of money. The claim "CA is doing this" right there should make you say, "Wait a minute, that doesn't even make any sense."

    So find out who is making the claim.

    Then ask yourself, are we really still in that era when this crap was sadly practiced? I don't think so. I'm certainly not going to take a news story as evidence we are without looking further into it.

    At least one of these cases was at the time of a C-section. I've not yet looked if they all were but I suspect the majority were.

    I have an advantage, I can see how this might have happened. These would not be the first women who had to make a rushed decision to get a tubal ligation at the time of a C-section. Getting a C-section usually means there was something wrong with the pregnancy. Pregnancy and childbirth are some of the most dangerous times for women. Anytime one does a C-section as a medical emergency it is important to consider, will subsequent pregnancies put this woman's life at risk? The typical answer is, yes.

    Do some women later regret the decision to have a tubal ligation at the time of a C-section? Obviously.

    So at the very minimum, find out what this story is actually about before jumping on the bandwagon it was a nefarious plot by a state to lower future welfare costs. There's nothing here to suggest that except the scandal sellers.
     
  12. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Your link was missing the http, but I found it:
    http://cironline.org/reports/female-inmates-sterilized-california-prisons-without-approval-4917

    So? That makes sense from a child welfare POV. You have kids, you're in jail and your life is effed up, why have more kids? That's not shocking, it makes sense to council a prisoner under those circumstances.

    Well yeah, she has 5 kids, she's in jail? What is so shocking about that kind of counseling?

    This is beginning to sound like some pro-life anti-birth control group's POV.


    The more I read the more disgusted I am at the people who are misconstruing the whole thing.

    Looks like this is one of the misconstrued statements. A doctor says the state saved money and it's taken as the state claiming they did something to save money.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2014
  13. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    @GingerCoffee without getting personal, I get the impression you are taking it personal :)

    Now, I'm quite aware that pointing a finger at the state of California and making some sort of government conspiracy out of anything without a lot of research is a piece of Scheiße - but let's be honest, we live in a world where innocents die because a government they don't necessarily support get accused for incomprehensable things that never get "proven"... And, just for the record, I couldn't care less for the state of California and their welfare regulations :) I am not convinced, however, that you'd need (not you personally, of course) any more proof than a few newspaper articles to condemn something like this allegedly happening in Pakistan, Mozambique or Moldova. :)
     
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  14. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Not personal at all, though I do think our resident physician might have had a little more confidence in the profession.

    Rather than defensive, I am enthusiastic when it comes to showing people how to think a little more critically about these sorts of news stories

    I'd be one of the last people to give the government a pass or think they do no wrong. We have an oligarchy in this country at the moment and the ignorance is intolerable of calling food stamps 'giveaways to the takers' while holding up a rancher who has failed for 20 years to pay leasing fees for his cattle grazing on public lands a freedom fighter. And the hispanic community is often the target of bigotry and discrimination.

    But you might want to have just a little more skepticism when it comes to outrageous accusation. Perhaps you've heard the saying, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence?

    The news media is divided, with the mainstream being in the business of selling a commodity. What sells is scandal and controversy. Being a source of information is not a lucrative business and investigative reporting is expensive. The larger news sources in the US have trimmed their investigative staff to skeleton-crew level. In this same vein are the extreme commodity sellers, the Tabloids.

    The other half of the news media are more akin to propaganda machines. Fox News has a goal, support the GOP and make the Democratic Party look bad no matter what ether does.

    One glance at the headlines on the home page of TellMeNow shows clear indication this is a Tabloid news service. And there's mostly right wing propaganda stories there. They had no information about who they were, or who financed the site. There was a separate link saying they were an Australian investigative news service but my Google ap warns me the site is vulnerable to the Heartbleed malware so I didn't look any further into the information there.


    You really need to start with more reliable news sources.

    As for the other sources, NPR, The Guardian, and the LA Times, those are more reliable sources, but even there one must be a careful consumer of the news.

    Notice the non sequitur. Banned forced sterilization but still offering sterilization services.

    They go on to describe the history, and it isn't pretty we all agree.
    But here's the rub, the problem here wasn't forced sterilizations, it was failure to ensure no one was unduly coerced by requiring an approval procedure.

    That's newsworthy, it's a problem, it's important to report about it. But it's a long way from how the story is being portrayed. It also happens to be a good lesson in how the news media is in the business of selling scandal and controversy. Had they just reported a procedure wasn't followed and some inmates regret their decisions, (something the procedure might have prevented), well that is not sensational enough. The business model is: "Gin it up, make it sellable. We're in business for a profit."

    Looking further at the Guardian's story we get to the original source of the story:
    Over 10 years? That's 15 women a year, a drop in the bucket.

    Consider the source. Also consider there are bound to be some prison medical staff that had opinions about the pregnancies, including some that were bigoted and some that likely cared about the welfare of these kids with moms in jail. People have opinions and they act on them. That's individuals, not the state.

    The other two things I pointed out above are also on the list, a person was asked during a C-section, and the doctor made the comment the bill for the tubal ligations was cost effective.

    Reporters take that information and have little understanding of the actual circumstances such as it is normal for any OBGYN performing a C-section to ask if a tubal was also wanted.


    The LA Times, same thing, gin it up it sells better:
    "Broke the law, no proper authorization" .... compare that to "proper procedure to ensure consent was not followed".

    Did anything willfully wrong occur, something besides failure to properly follow a procedure:

    NPR reports:

    That depends on what they memo said and who wrote it and why. NPR reported the fact a memo was found as state legislators investigated. I see no mention of it in the original articles the other news sources relied on.

    But looking further I found:
    http://cironline.org/reports/calif-lawmakers-seek-legislation-prevent-prison-sterilization-abuse-5112
    That sounds to me like it simply authorizes the payment for a tubal ligation. It doesn't say anything close to, "All inmates will have".

    The article goes on to suggest sterilizations were banned, but that contradicts the other regulation that a committee must approve the procedure.

    I think Amy Pile the investigator here has an agenda:
    So an attorney that is likely politically interested (and I don't begrudge her that, watchdog groups often serve a great purpose) has an opinion. But "it's weird" is an opinion, nothing more. I have an opinion too. It's my opinion this is an out of context distorted news story.

    Next up - Ginger looks at Amy Pyle and the Center For Investigative Reporting. ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2014
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  15. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    @GingerCoffee can't wait for that next dissection - don't know much about the Center for Investigative Reporting (sounds...smelly) ;)

    No, really, that deer that hates Obama, that's an adorable story :) main reason I've put that link instead of Guardian/Times/Bitches in the first post is the fact it is a sensationalist crap-paper. While tons of stories originate in tabloids and remain in tabloids 'till they die out after their short lives get choked by the next tabloid story, this one actually originated from a placdy called "Ceenter for Investigative Reporting" :)
     
  16. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I'm pretty sure the kid who paints God which she claims she sees in visions but which looks conveniently like the beautiful white Jesus from religious paintings is another clue this isn't exactly an objective news source. But if that wasn't enough:
    Does no one notice that image is the same one in the most common Jesus portrait we all saw in Sunday School?
    :p

    Here's another clue about the website:
    Compare that to their report about the right wing they adore:
    OMG the majority ruled! We can't have that when the GOP is in the minority. :rolleyes:


    But I digress... on to the CIR Online. It doesn't look too bad. They claim to be nonprofit, and at least they have an "about" page, a red flag Tellmenow did not have.

    Nonprofit investigative reporting is a good sign. One needs to be sure they aren't just self-fulfilling their confirmation bias, but that's easier to sort through when actual facts are reported on.

    Democracy Now is a similar news source, non-profit, investigative journalism. They have an extensive network of investigative reporters and they have a well established reputation. Do they have a liberal bias? They have an anti-war bias. But if anyone saw Amy Goodman go after Bill Clinton in an interview, they would know that she's still about reporting the facts. They don't hold back criticizing Obama's failure to prosecute any of the financial institution execs involved in the Subprime Loan/Derivatives ripoff or the economic collapse.

    One can rely on Democracy Now as long as one remembers not to assume every person interviewed has the story straight. So what about CIROnline?
    They have an agenda, but they are up front about it. The story they reported on was legit, but there was no attempt to look at the other side of the story. There was no effort to find an alternative explanation. The physicians and the prison staff were pretty much assumed guilty without a trial.

    I refer to Democracy Now because I consider it the gold standard of non-profit investigative reporting. They regularly make an effort to report on opposing viewpoints, they don't simply feed confirming bias to the public. No one is bias free, and again, it's important to keep that in mind when critically thinking about any news story. But when you see both sides presented and it isn't just the ignorant business-news-model of treating every controversy as if both sides were equal, that's a good sign.

    I get the impression from CIR Online they may do decent investigating, but with the assumption there is a crime there which needs exposing. I would read the source again. I wouldn't immediately dismiss their reports like I would dismiss the right wing tabloid, Tellmenow.

    CIROnline's history and record is interesting and suggests it's a decent news source. As does their list of awards:
    Bottom line, the original story was one sided but valid. The reporter perhaps needed to consult some medical providers to get a more relevant picture of the situation.

    Concluding this was about CA saving money on welfare and forcing women to get tubal ligations was wholly unsupported and showed serious bias, but then one mistake, even a serious one doesn't always mean the entire news source is faulty. It's the nature of trying to get to the truth, sometimes people are wrong.



    Dang I really should start a blog. :p
     
  17. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    @GingerCoffee that you should ;)

    Though I still fail to see bias in Corey's original report - a tendency yes, an agenda maybe, but he got Dr Heinrich (if that ain't an ominous name... :p) to give a positively idiotic defence concerning money, instead of...anything remotely understandable :)

    Problem, as I see through these texts - a problem that falls completely out of sight once the story gets its share of media spinning - is the mindset that seems still prevalent in the penal system, which treats inmates in a, well, very degrading fashion. :)
     
  18. GingerCoffee
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    If your mind is made up about what happened here, perhaps you are unable to see what the problem is. If you can't see that using false descriptions like "eugenics" to apply to this report isn't biased, then you have a problem.

    The doctor's quote is taken completely out of context.

    He was questioned about justifying the cost of ~$100,000 over the 10 years and he merely stated why it was cost effective. That had absolutely nothing to do with the reasoning of the State of California making a decision to cover tubal ligations for prisoners.

    Let's imagine a whole different scenario had the tubal ligations not been covered in the medical care for the prisoners.

    Prisoner's tubal ligation during C-section denied
    The State of California refuses to cover a tubal during a C-section because it is not covered under the prisoner's allowed medical care. Now she has to undergo another surgical procedure to get the tubal later. Officials explain the law doesn't allow the state to cover elective procedures.
    Can you imagine that scandal? Yet you think it's a scandal the state allowed the elective procedure.


    Which is a completely separate issue from claiming the State of California is forcibly sterilizing female prisoners to save future welfare costs. :(
     
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  19. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    @GingerCoffee as I said before, I don't really give a damn about the state of California :) And I hardly "made my mind up" about the allegations - which are still being investigated as I understand. So I very much like and support your insightful interpretations :)

    And yeah, one of the reasons I used "eugenics" in the title was to irritate ;) it's such a bombastic word, filled with negative conotations, that I am actually surprised tabloids that spinned this story didn't use it more! Again, this story (versions of it), while it found its way into third-rate media, did come to life in somewhat more respectable environment. (Not that I personally find many trans-Atlantic media much respectable in the first place :p)
    But as I said, the idea that "temporarily revoking one's civil rights" makes convicted felons second rate human beings, is part of a specific mindset, not necessarily state-sponsored or institutionalized ideology - much like contemporary antisemitism or colonialism, which seem to remain inseparable from western culture even if they are dismissed by the "state". The "state" not necessarilly being, of course, the state of California :D
     
  20. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Except I don't see any clear evidence anyone's rights were denied. I see no evidence of forced or coerced sterilization.

    So far what I do see is:
    Evidence of incompetent reporting, women later regretting a decision, and decisions by necessity being asked in a hurry. I see an appropriate investigation but a memo in that investigation and the physician's remark being taken out of context.

    Should more evidence emerge I will consider my conclusions in light of new evidence. But at this point, assumptions of guilt are being made before the trial.
     
  21. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Should I start looking up as many negative news stories possible about European and Asian countries and start a debate about them?

    This kind of quote is so sensational. North America does? How about the fact the entire world does. I guarantee I can find this type of thing went on in many countries around the world.

    How about the experiments the Nazis in Germany did on the Jews? Does that mean ALL of Europe has a history of experimentation on people.
     
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