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Louisiana State Lawmaker Considering Legislation to Fund Sterilizations

Louisiana State Representative John LaBruzzo is considering proposing a plan that would pay poor women $1,000 to be sterilized. He has said the program would be voluntary, could involve sterilization of both women and men, could encourage other forms of birth control, and could include tax incentives that would encourage people in higher socio-economic classes to have more children.

LaBruzzo told the The Times-Picayune that what he is “really studying is any and all possibilities that we can [use to] reduce the number of people that are going from generational welfare to generational welfare.” After witnessing the evacuations from hurricanes Katrina and Gustav, he told the New Orleans City Business that he “realized that all these people were in Louisiana’s care and what a massive financial responsibility that is to the state…I said, ‘I wonder if it might be a good idea to pay some of these people to get sterilized.”

Shana Griffin, interim director of the New Orleans Women’s Health Clinic said that “if we really want to improve the lives of people in our communities we would think about raising the minimum wage, holistic health care, improving labor laws, employment opportunities for all people and the educational system…Instead he wants to use a form of medical experimentation and forces sterilization on poor women of color, using their economic status as a way to make them more vulnerable to the offer.”

Sources:

New Orleans City Business 9/23/08; The Times-Picayune 9/24/08

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